An excellent column today in The Miami Herald by Daniel Shoer Roth. He really “gets it” about the harm caused by the ex-gay industry. Thanks to the George Rekers scandal, more people now see it as consumer fraud designed to bilk desperate and vulnerable people. Here is an excerpt from the column:

I’ve heard even more terrifying testimonials. A businessman from a wealthy family whose parents sent him to those who perform exorcisms to rid him of the demon of homosexuality. The appalling thing was that he agreed to go.

But the repression of sexual orientation, feelings and desire never ends well. Sometimes it results in depression, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol abuse, workaholic and compulsive sex.

Sexual orientation cannot be changed, science tells us. By trying, many people lead two lives. On the outside they are like Rekers: they accuse gays of being immoral and incapable of love. On the inside, they are like him, too: escaping to Europe with a sex worker who is 40 years younger to feel loved.

Then come right-wing fanatics who use them as puppets in order to reduce the limited legal protections afforded the gay and lesbian community.

Take, for example, Florida Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum, who hired Rekers as an “expert” witness against gay adoption.

Yes, Rekers is an expert . . . in hypocrisy.

This issue is not only about gays, because those who are homophobic are bound to reject other minorities, as well. McCollum on Thursday expressed support for the anti-immigrant measures in Arizona. It brings to mind the famous phrase of the German pastor and theologian Martin Niem??ller, an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist./ Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist./ Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew./ Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.