Ex-gay ministries have become popular among the Religious Right as they seek to seem friendly toward homosexuals while they forbid them to marry. But everyone knows the Right really hates gays.

At least that's the story according to a series on Salon.com. Author Mark Benjamin says, "In the nation's divisive culture wars, gay issues have proved to be winners for Christian conservatives, who helped power right-wing Republicans into control of two branches of the federal government. … Religious conservatives are on a mission to ban more than gay marriage. They want to outlaw civil unions giving same-sex partners some of the legal privileges of married heterosexuals, reinstate state sodomy bans, and defeat hate-crimes legislation that would increase penalties for violence against gays."

In the second of his four-part series, Benjamin says, "The theory that homosexuality is a mental disorder that needs to be cured is the moral underpinning of the Christian right's crusade against gay marriage, sodomy laws, gay adoption, and sex-ed curriculums in schools. "

The New York Times is also following a story, circulating around the internet, about a 16-year-old who discusses being gay on his blog. After telling his parents, the boy's parents sent him to Love in Action, a Memphis Christian group with a program that helps gay men and women change their sexual orientation. After his blog entries circulated around the internet, Queer Action Coalition began protesting outside the Memphis church where Love in Action holds Refuge, its treatment program.

Both articles focus on the difficulties of changing sexual orientation, saying that mainstream psychiatric organizations don't support such therapy, that success rates are usually low, if counted, ...

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Weblog
Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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