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Janet Boynes is a minister that calls herself a former lesbian. Her ministry, Janet Boynes Ministries, is based in Minneapolis and heavily affiliated with the Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park. Last week, she appeared at a press conference in Washington, DC, to urge the United States Supreme Court to uphold bans on same-sex marriage. She also made some false claims about legislation around the country — and in Minnesota — that would curb conversion therapy for minors.

Boynes spoke alongside religious right figureheads such as James Dobson, Mat Staver, and Rick Scarborough. She said:

More and more children family members and friends those who were never predisposed to the homosexual before are now experimenting sexually, trying out homosexuality and becoming hooked. Those who seek help to leave the life of homosexuality may soon discover that there is no longer any help out there. Homosexual activists and their homosexual attorneys are pushing to ban any type of ministries such as Janet Boynes Ministries which help people exit homosexuality. Their goal is to indoctrinate our kids. Their goal is to silence us. Their greatest fear is men and women like myself who have walked away from that life. Soon it may be become illegal to even have this kind of ministry. Who knows how much longer we will have to do what we are doing today unless we act now.

Despite Boynes’ claims, none of the legislation offered across the country nor the laws passed in California, New Jersey, or Washington, DC, prohibit religious ministries from practicing religious based counseling to change sexual orientation. In fact, these bills and laws apply only to the revocation of the licenses of professionals who practice clinical conversion therapy on minors.

Here are Boynes’ full remarks:

Hello everyone my name is Janet Boynes. I have a ministry that assists and help men and women leave the life of homosexuality. I am based out of Minneapolis and now I live in Texas. I also enjoy helping churches have a better understanding of how we work with those that are in our churches that struggle. I believe in compassion without compromise. We can have compassion but we are not going to compromise the gospel. I think far better than anyone who has lived the lifestyle knows the gay community do not want someone like myself around, because we have the opportunity to debunk everything they are saying. Why don’t you see me on CNN or Today or MSNBC or Good Morning America? Because they have all the gays and lesbians on their show, but if I come on their show I will tear down their belief system and that’s my goal is to debunk everything they are saying to be true when I know it’s a lie. We have tragically watched our nation cave into homosexuality propaganda more and more people are falling for the lie that homosexuals are born that way. Well, we know that’s a lie anyway. Homosexuals have successfully made inroads into Hollywood, television, our children, public schools, universities, our government, the President of the United States and now our churches.

Homosexual marriage is growing in America, already which is already being litigated in our nation’s supreme court as a potential federal civil right. We know this is not a civil rights issue. See, the color of my skin is an immutable, unchangeable characteristic. I can’t change from black to white but I did live a homosexual life for 14 years and I’ve been out 17 so we know change is possible through the power of Jesus Christ. If same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, no one can even imagine or predict the ramifications that this decision will have. I know from personal experience that homosexuality is a false identity that is rooted in sexual or emotional brokenness. Same-sex marriage is a rejection of reality, of God’s design for how to raise our children. When we reject reality we harm our children. See, I grew up in a family of seven kids, four different fathers. I understand what it’s like not having a dad because of all those four fathers, none of them was around. Every child deserves and wants a father and a mother. This is critically important to sexual development. In the 14 years I lived as a lesbian, I saw first hand that there is no substitute for the role of father and a mother that they play in a child’s life. Each parent offers a unique contribution to the health and well being of our children. I know this to be true because when I was in a homosexual life with a woman who had two children, I tried to fulfill the role of a daddy. At that time I realized I wasn’t equipped or capable of being a father to these girls.

More and more children family members and friends those who were never predisposed to the homosexual before are now experimenting sexually, trying out homosexuality and becoming hooked. Those who seek help to leave the life of homosexuality may soon discover that there is no longer any help out there. Homosexual activists and their homosexual attorneys are pushing to ban any type of ministries such as Janet Boynes Ministries which help people exit homosexuality. Their goal is to indoctrinate our kids. Their goal is to silence us. Their greatest fear is men and women like myself who have walked away from that life. Soon it may be become illegal to even have this kind of ministry. Who knows how much longer we will have to do what we are doing today unless we act now.

We must be bold and allow ourselves — we must be bold and not allow ourselves to be forced out. We cannot lay down our religious freedom. I thought about what President Obama said in his inaugural speech. He said ‘You might not have voted for me but I will be your president.’ Really Mr. President? You have allowed gays and lesbians into the White House. You sat down with them. You’ve had dinner with them. You’ve heard their voices but not once have you allowed those of us who have walked out of the life of homosexuality to come into the Oval Office to come into the White House and hear our stories. I challenge you today to allow us to come and you listen to what we have to say.

I pray that our courts will uphold traditional marriage so that God will continue to bless this great nation, the United States of America.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Birkey is extraordinarily incorrect on this one. In fact, with just a little fact checking he could have found the truth. These therapy bans will indeed tend to shut down ex-gay ministries because many of these people who conduct therapy within these organizations are licensed therapists. They will lose their licenses when working under the auspices of churches or faith-based ministries in which these therapies are conducted. These bans, upon forfeiture of license and prosecution, do not allow them to practice their therapy or their faith, to say nothing of the clients’ right to their free speech and self-determination. Also, what Birkey is not telling you is that almost all the harm claimed from clients who reported harm were clients from religious organizations that either don’t know what they’re doing, or have naive “camps” that are ineffective. And yet, people such as our Gay activists, legislators and Mr. Birkey, are saying how great it is that children who want this therapy are able to get it from religious experiences, evidently from the very people who apparently are causing so much harm in the first place. It doesn’t make sense. What does make sense is that this article and all these efforts to “stop the harm” are really about the normalization and complete acceptance of homosexuality in every state in America. If this were really about a compassionate remedy for harm, then Mr. Birkey and the rest would not be sending these kids back to the very programs in which they supposedly have experienced harm.

  2. What a false report…of course ex-gay ministries will be denied their existence because what Mr. Birkey is not telling you is that many therapists working under the auspices of churches and ministries are licensed psychotherapists, and they will lose their licenses if they conduct this therapy, which prohibits them from practicing their free speech, religion and self-determination.

  3. David- “And yet, people such as our Gay activists, legislators and Mr. Birkey, are saying how great it is that children who want this therapy are able to get it from religious experiences, evidently from the very people who apparently are causing so much harm in the first place. It doesn’t make sense.” It doesn’t make sense, because it is not true. I have never said or written, nor have a ever heard anyone in the LGBT community say that it would be great for children to go to a religious person or institution for help changing their sexual orientation or gender identity. If you know better, please provide examples.

    The fact is that bans on religious ministries will never happen, and if attempted would be quickly ruled unconstituional. What you are describing is the loss of licensure not the legal shutting down of ministries. “These bans, upon forfeiture of license and prosecution, do not allow them to practice their therapy or their faith.” You are half correct: it does not allow them to practice their therapy *to minors.* Adults are more than welcome to exercise their determination to visit these practitioners of unscientifically supported practices even if a ban is enacted. It does not, however, impact their ability to practice their faith. We don’t license the practice of faith in this country.

  4. You mince words to “prove” a point. It won’t work. You can call it whatever you like, or you can not use the word ban. However, having laws that take the licenses away from therapists who are practicing their therapy because of religious faith issues who work with ministries is, in fact, an act of banning some of the actions of that same ministry or church. Also, you don’t have to actually say as a Gay person that it’s great to send people back to religious shaming quacks. The fact that these bans make that a certainty is the same thing.

  5. Everything Andy Birkey has said is 100% true and you won’t find another journalist who is more thorough in his research. Janet Boynes is simply a self obsessed, narcissistic bi-sexual woman who isn’t brave enough to live authentically. So she preaches, projects and pretends. She did great damage to at least one young person that I happen to know. What she did to this young man is unforgivable. She targeted him at one of his lowest points in life. She exploited his pain, his personal struggles with addiction all for her own gain. She paraded this young man in front of the Anoka Hennepin School Board claiming to love him like a son and made him claim to be “saved from being gay” in order to still receive help. But when he finally had enough and said “I was gay and no longer going to continue in trying to change my sexuality, she told me to delete her contact information and never speak to her again”. This is NOT Christianity, it isn’t therapy… it’s abuse and she and other snake oil salesmen should be held liable for the damage they do all because they are too afraid to own who they are.

    http://elielcruz.religionnews.com/2014/12/09/wont-weapon-anymore-says-former-symbol-ex-gay-movement/

  6. I hear you, but you also avoid the issue previously raised, as well as the hundreds of success stories out there. I think we need to be sensitive to all people, not just Gays and their views/feelings and not just exGays and their views/feelings. I don’t think it’s fair to not address the issues raised, then change the subject of harm to only one individual’s experience.

  7. David, these bans don’t target ministries because that would be a violation of the First Amendment. State licensing does not cover religious faith, it covers professional services, and as such, a state action isn’t going to shut down a ministry. That is where your argument falls apart. If people want to do religious counseling, they are free to do so, and many in Minnesota do without a license (I’ve covered that difference in-depth here: http://thecolu.mn/15476/meet-the-clinics-churches-and-groups-behind-minnesotas-ex-gay-conversion-therapy-movement).

    And I think you are the one mincing words. You say, “having laws that take the licenses away from therapists who are practicing their therapy because of religious faith issues who work with ministries is, in fact, an act of banning some of the actions of that same ministry or church.” Didn’t you say earlier “These therapy bans will indeed tend to shut down ex-gay ministries because many of these people who conduct therapy within these organizations are licensed therapists.” There is an ocean of difference between “banning some of the actions” and “shut down ex-gay ministries.”

    A great example of the zero effect this ban would have on ex-gay ministries can be evidenced by looking at Boynes herself, the one who claims her ministry will be shut down. Her ministry does not utilize anyone licensed. It’s a strictly religious endeavor. This law would have zero effect on her ministry. Her statement is clearly false about her own ministry, and is demonstrably false about other ex-gay ministries.

    Ex-gay clinics with licensed staff on the other hand, they would be limited to only serving adult clients, which for a practice that has very real harms associated with it, is a very good thing but not sufficient to cause them to shut down. On the other hand, if their only client base is minor children, then my opinion is that they should be shut down or at the very least held liable for malpractice.

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