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One By One booth at a Love Won Out conference

OneByOne is a Presbyterian ex-gay organization that advocates conversion therapy and is based in Rochester, New York.

Contents

History

The idea for OneByOne started as a result of a conference held in November 1994 by a PC(USA) church and the Presbyterian Renewal Ministries entitled "The Path to Freedom: Exploring healing for the Homosexual." In January 1995 the Presbyterian Renewal Network held a meeting to discuss what could be done, at which time they created OneByOne.[1] In July 2003, it joined with 10 other organization that serve people conflicted over unwanted homosexual attractions[2] to form a coalition called Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality.[3]

OneByOne’s mission is both to minister to the "sexually broken" and serve as a source to those trying to support them, with an emphasis on homosexuality. Since they teach that sex should only be employed between a husband and a wife, they view homosexuality as a sin and a type of sexual brokenness.[4] The organization cites testimonies of participants, saying their methods have been effective in helping them abandon their homosexual orientation.[5]

It has produced Pastoral Care Guide,[6] a guide that provides a basic overview of dealing with sexual conflict,[6] Touched by His Grace,[7] a booklet where seven former gay men and four former lesbians describe their experience of gaining heterosexual adaptation and spiritual freedom. Also, in combination with Presbyterians For Renewal, OneByOne created the film, Speaking a Mystery:God's Design for Human Sexuality.[8]

OneByOne and the PC(USA)

Within the PC(USA), interpretation of the Bible's stance on homosexuality has been sharply debated. In June 2008, The 218th General Assembly made steps toward allowing open LGBT people to be ordained, while maintaining the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.[9][10] OneByOne members have accused those supporting the idea that homosexual behavior can be Biblical as having been influenced by science and their own feelings, rather than scripture.[11][12] Those in favor argue that what is most important is what the spirit teaches the churches now.[11] Both agree with that the condemnation of homosexuality as a sin greater than other sexual sins is incorrect.

Some presbyteries, such as the Presbytery of New York, have gone further and have made a call to "refrain from supporting, implementing or sponsoring therapies of ministries which attempt to alter a person's sexual orientation." OneByOne argued that denying such therapies would "in effect deny the God-given right of Presbyterians to seek transformation of their sexual identity, behavior and desires and thereby violate the principles of pastoral care listed in our Book of Order."[13] They further state that "Jesus can and wants to bring healing to those who have unwanted same-sex attractions."[14] Other Presbyteries are supportive of OneByOne, saying that "persons who deal with same-sex attraction in a way that is faithful to Scripture are heroes of the church."[15]

Controversy

The American Psychiatric Association has stated "some people believe that sexual orientation is innate and fixed; however, sexual orientation develops across a person’s lifetime."[16] However, they say that for most people, there is little or no choice in one's sexual orientation.[17] OneByOne advocates conversion therapy, which attempts to eliminate same-sex attraction, and publishes the testimony of participants saying that, through the help of OneByOne, they have experienced diminished or eliminated same-sex attraction.[5] LGBT rights supporters denounce any group that supports aspects of the ex-gay movement, and they state that behind a mask of compassion the ex-gay movement's true goal is "to roll back legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."[18]

References

  1. ^ OneByOne: About Us
  2. ^ PATH web site Retrieved April 4, 2006
  3. ^ Diverse Coalition Forms to Support People Seeking ‘Non-Gay’ Alternatives to Unwanted Homosexuality July 9, 2003, Jersey City, Marketwire
  4. ^ OneByOne: What We Believe
  5. ^ a b OneByOne: Testimonies
  6. ^ a b One by One
  7. ^ Throckmorton, Warren Attempts to Modify Sexual Orientation: A Review of Outcome Literature and Ethical Issues October 1998 Journal of Mental Health Counseling
  8. ^ Speaking A Mystery
  9. ^ PC(USA) - 218th General Assembly (2008) - News - Assembly proposes amendment to delete G-6.0106b and replace it with a new version
  10. ^ PC(USA) - 218th General Assembly (2008) - News - Assembly leaves definition of marriage unchanged
  11. ^ a b Terry Mattingly, A new Presbyterian Reformation?, Gospelcom.net.
  12. ^ Bob Gorman , OneByOne Group Told To Uphold Authority of Scriptures, PC(USA) General Assembly News.
  13. ^ New York Presbytery would ban therapy for homosexuals April 13, 1999 The Layman Online
  14. ^ Johnson, Kristin God pursued me with compassion:A response to the PJC's acquittal of Jane Spahr March 23, 2005 Viewpoint
  15. ^ Kibler, Craig People dealing with same-sex attraction by being faithful to Scripture called 'heroes of the church' June 20, 2006 The Layman Online
  16. ^ American Psychiatric Association (May 2000). "Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues". Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrics. http://www.aglp.org/pages/cfactsheets.html#Anchor-Gay-14210.  
  17. ^ Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality, American Psychological Association. Retrieved 2007-02-22.
  18. ^ Challenging the ex-gay myth: an information packet, Political Research Associates, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, Equal Partners in Faith, 1998. Retrieved on 2007-02-22.

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