Thursday, January 24, 2019

#2136: Greg Quinlan

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) is an organization devoted to promoting conversion therapy (also for children) and the (more or less mythical) ex-gay movement, the central ideological commitment being that homosexuality is not a product of biological determination – instead, being gay is “a political identity”. PFOX, which is supported by the Family Research Council, maintains that it champions and protects the rights of ex-gays, though ostensibly apart from their president there are virtually no actual ex-gays in the organization but plenty of anti-gay activists. The current president, Greg Quinlan, however, is, at least according to PFOX, a former homosexual who came out at the age of 23 – he “departed from homosexuality” in 1993, and went on to found the Pro-Family Network, a family values™ (primarily anti-gay marriage) organization.

In 2007, when the D.C. Board of Education approved new health and physical education guidelines, PFOX came out in opposition to “grade-specific sex education and information about HIV/AIDS” because such information “would undermine abstinence-only messages,” a claim that nicely illustrates that this is all about a religious notion of purity, not health, welfare or happiness (given that abstinence programs demonstrably aren’t conducive to the latter aims). Indeed, according to Quinlan, sex health ed classes are arenas for gays to recruit kids into the gay movement – the HIV/AIDS scare in the 80s and 90s was a tool for promoting their agenda, apparently. 

In 2014 PFOX became the target of national ridicule for putting up a billboard next to highway I-95 in Richmond with the text “Identical twins: One gay. One not. We believe twin research studies show nobody is born gay [not quite]” in between photos of two men, seemingly identical twins. However, both images on were stock photos of a single man who identifies himself as “openly gay and happy my entire life,” and not too impressed with PFOX’s billboard. Quinlan was unfazed by the criticism. Though they have petitioned serious organizations for attention, PFOX is currently mostly relegated to sharing the stage with things like birthers, Sandy Hook truthers, Liberty Counsel, Michele Bachmann and similar kinds of lunatic fringe dredge. Nevertheless, their pamphlet Preventing Bullying at Your School, which says that kids become gay because people call them gay and that later in life gay people bully those who “decide to pursue alternatives to homosexuality”, actually ended up being distributed at some high schools in 2012.

Those, of course, are just examples. Quinlan himself is, as you’d expect, a fundie, who in 2012 endorsed Lou Engle’s call to create a prayer movement – take a moment to think about it with this transcript as a prop – to confront the “homosexual and abortion tornadoes” that are “coming to destroy America”. Quinlan also participated at Engle’s Awakening conference, where he complained that New Jersey’s anti-bullying law is being used to bully Christian students and that the law, like most things he disagrees with, is actually fascism. In general, according to Quinlan, “homofascism” is threatening liberty through “anti-heterosexual legislation.” He has also linked homosexuality to pedophilia and called same-sex marriage “a ban on heterosexual rights.” To bolster his “argument” he touts the false claim that childhood molestation causes homosexuality and claims that marriage equality is “the heart of where Satan’s attacking”, which admittedly isn’t much of an argument but still as good as his arguments get.

As for gays themselves, Quinlan argues that gays and lesbians are experiencing “sexual cannibalism” and promote suicide among LGBT youth in order to succeed in “making martyrs out of the kids that we’re recruiting to behave as homosexuals.” You see, gays are all around, even where you don’t obviously see them, and so are their conspiracies. For instance, (then-)Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice Elena Kagan are secretly gay – as well as “black-robed Nazis” who seek to “accommodate their own personal predilections, including their own sexuality” – and so is (then-)president Obama; Obama is “a down low president,” as Quinlan perceives things. His evidence? “Rumors”. No, seriously.

Meanwhile, the near-mythical ex-gays are being persecuted everywhere; indeed, the way ex-homosexuals are being treated today is just like what the Nazis did to the Jews, claims Quinlan (with Douglas McIntyre of Homosexuals Anonymous and allegedly ex-transgender Grace Harley), before likening the impact of the gay rights movement, which he described as demonic, to the wreckage of a tornado hitting a town; “we have lost our country,” lamented Quinlan. And to add, well, injury to injury, Satan, too, is working to drag ex-gays back into a homosexual lifestyle, as indicated by the track-record of previously declared ex-gays. It’s quite sad, actually.

There is a decent Greg Quinlan resource here.

Diagnosis: Angry, delusional, fundie conspiracy theorist. Yeah, nothing new. But Quinlan actually wields some influence in certain circles, and must be considered moderately dangerous.

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