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Ad on Gays Promotes Harmful Falsehoods

August 02, 2004

Kudos to Steve Lopez, not only for raising the issue of bisexuality in his July 28 column ("Randy Is Just Dandy -- or Is He?"), but also for discussing The Times' lack of transparency around its decision to publish a full-page Exodus International ad promoting myths and falsehoods about gay Americans.

Sexual orientation, like so many biological traits, falls on a continuum. So when a person like Exodus' Randy Thomas -- whose experience strongly suggests a bisexual orientation -- claims that he "wasn't born homosexual," he's attempting to deceive the reader by putting the emphasis on the wrong word. The anti-gay right clings desperately to a myth that gay people are somehow emotionally and psychologically disordered and thus undeserving of fundamental rights and protections for ourselves and our families. But what we know about sexual orientation tells us that the truth is far different from the fictions that Thomas is using to advance his group's political agenda. And for The Times to allow its pages to be used to propagate such harmful falsehoods without disclosing its own advertising standards or accepting responsibility for its actions does a tremendous disservice to its readers.

Joan M. Garry

Executive Director

Gay and Lesbian Alliance

Against Defamation, New York

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