- The Magazine
The headquarters of an anti-LGBTQ organization that claims being gay leads to “death and disease” have been declared a COVID-19 hotspot.
Focus on the Family is a fundamentalist Christian group based in Colorado Springs, Colo., known for its anti-LGBTQ teachings and promotion of conversion therapy.
The group — which spawned another anti-LGBTQ organization, the Family Research Council — has said that transgender people are “disconnected from Jesus,” compared being LGBTQ to “sex abuse,” and argued that parents should tell their children that the LGBTQ community comprises people “whose sexuality has been damaged or whose healthy development has been derailed.”
But while Focus on the Family has been busy advocating against LGBTQ people, it apparently hasn’t been doing anything to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The organization was added to the state’s list on August 21, with another member of staff registered as a “probable” case.
Focus on the Family’s status as a COVID-19 outbreak site doesn’t sit well with their assertion that being gay leads to “external consequences like death, disease.”
That claim came from an article, in which someone asked for advice after their friend came out as lesbian and said that it was compatible with their faith.
In response, Focus on the Family said, “Homosexual behavior is against the design of human nature. Men and women are indispensable to each other; they aren’t interchangeable blocks.
“The tree of homosexuality bears bad fruits. Sodomitical acts have not only external consequences like death, disease, and childlessness, but internal ones. Some of the internal consequences are psychological, like loneliness and compulsive behavior. Others are moral, for we cannot violate the human design yet expect things to go on as they were; ‘that road leads down and down.'”
Since its founding in 1977, Focus on the Family has amassed a lengthy list of anti-LGBTQ claims and comments, including opposition to same-sex marriage, same-sex parents and adoption, and employment protections for LGBTQ people.
It has said that transgenderism “violates God’s design” and argued that transgender people are a “myth” and being transgender “doesn’t physically exist.”
Focus on the Family even established its own conversion therapy “ministry,” Love Won Out.
Conversion therapy is a widely debunked practice that claims to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity, and usually involves a variety of methods, from talk therapy to more extreme methods such as shock or aversion therapy.
Studies have shown that conversion therapy increases the risk of suicide and suicidal ideation in LGBTQ people, and medical experts have noted that other side effects of the therapy can include depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Love Won Out was eventually sold to conversion therapy umbrella organization Exodus International, which was shut down in 2013.
Former CEO of Exodus International Alan Chambers, subsequently came out as gay and apologized to LGBTQ people who had been harmed by conversion therapy.
Speaking to Metro Weekly in 2016, he said that people should be warned against conversion therapy: “This is not something that’s going to work. This is dangerous. It creates shame. It is not something that is going to produce an orientation change in you.”
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!