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Pics! from the Chicago Premiere of "Fish Can't Fly"

Last Saturday producer and director T. Joe Murray joined the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches and the Gay Liberation Network for the Chicago premiere of "Fish Can't Fly," a new documentary exposing the failures and rip-offs behind the so-called "ex-gay movement." The "ex-gay movement" is an arm of the religious right which claims to make gay people straight by using prayer and stereotypical gender roles (literally, men do car repair, women do make-up!). To say it's quakery is an understatement.

What do you call a movement which aims to do away with a whole group of people? Bigoted, at the very least. Gay people have nothing to be ashamed of -- it's "Christian" bigots who insist on making gay people straight, and push people of other faiths (or no faith) to convert to their sectarian beliefs who should lay off. Changing laws and constitutions to force others to follow their religious teachings is just the latest insult. What's next? Suggesting that African Americans conk their hair and lighten their skin?

For all their claims of not being bigots, the religious right just can't help itself. Last week Fisher DeBerry, the football coach of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and one of the heroes of the religious right for leading the "Christianizing" of the Academy, put his foot firmly in his mouth with baldly racist comments about African Americans. Bob Jones University, one of the brightest stars in the constellation of far-right "Christian" institutions, just a few years ago finally dropped its prohibition against inter-racial dating! During the 1960s, many of the older generation of Christian rightists had their feet firmly planted in the "White Citizens Counsels" and other pro-segregationist organizations.

Recently "Love in Action," a Tennessee facility featured in "Fish Can't Fly" and one of the most prominent institutions in the "ex gay" movement, was closed down by the State of Tennessee for illegally operating a mental health facility. "Fish Can't Fly" lets people who've gone through the "ex gay" programs like "Love in Action" tell their stories about the fraud in these programs which charge exorbitant fees and fail to produce the results they promise. All of the leading professional associations with some bearing on the issue -- the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers -- have denounced the ex-gay "therapies" as scientifically bogus.

To purchase a DVD of the film, go to http://fishcantfly.com/Intro.html

To see pictures of last Saturday's premiere, please go here.


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