Gary Sinise, Academy Award-nominated for his role of Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump, was scheduled to speak at a conference for Legatus – an anti-gay Catholic group that believes in ex-gay therapy.
Sinise – who also starred in CSI: New York – was listed on the organisation’s website alongside Fox anchor Bret Baier and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to speak at their summit in Florida later this month.
The Of Mice and Men actor revealed today that he did not realise the beliefs system of Legatus before he agreed to speak at their summit. Sinise is a campaigner for army veterans and had been asked to speak on behalf of his veterans’ charity, as he is also a devout converted Catholic.
“When I accepted the invitation to speak at the Legatus conference about veterans issues and share my story, I was unaware of the controversy surrounding some of the participants, and their views on personal matters. […] I don’t want my mission—which is designed to be unifying—to be disrupted by these, or any controversies, and therefore have decided to withdraw.”
Last year, American comedian and actor Bob Newhart pulled out of a similar event for the same organisation after their anti-gay stance was revealed.
Legatus was founded as an organisation for Catholic businesses and has since gained notoriety for its anti-gay beliefs. There are a number of articles and opinion pieces readily available on their website harbouring this theme.
One such article considers how “same-sex sexual attraction” should not be referred to as a “sexual orientation” as ‘orientation’ suggests that same-sex attraction, or SSA, is natural. It’s a “disorder” as our friend John M. Haas, the President of The National Catholic Bioethics Center claims; he also suggests that SSA can be cured.
“The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality reports that significant numbers of homosexual persons have undergone treatment and had their sexual drives properly ordered. These findings are a beacon of hope to those suffering from SSA, as well as for their family and friends who desire their happiness and good health.”
Jeremy Hooper at Good As You has created a page wherein there is a collection of these articles. Web-archived from this page, you can find a written homily from a priest in Georgia. In his entirely too-long speech, Fr. Augustine compares gay people to paedophiles, drug addicts and alcoholics; before claiming that gay marriage would lead to people marrying their pets and their siblings. He concludes by mentioning a support group for SSA called Courage, an ex-gay therapy group.
“No one is denying them [gay people] love or happiness. We are not denying love or happiness to the alcoholic by taking away his alcohol. We are not denying love or happiness to the drug addict by taking away his drugs. We are not denying love or happiness to the pedophile by keeping him away from children.”
The organisation has also proven themselves to be transphobic, just to give them a little extra something for their repertoire.
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