Ken Summers Should Probably Just Stop Talking

(This isn’t working out so well for Rep. Summers, who should have heeded our original advice: JUST. STOP. TALKING. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE #2: Here’s the response from reporter Emile Hallez Williams:

Evergreen Newspapers stands by the story, and I personally stand by my work. We welcome any concerns about the factual content of our stories and address inaccurate information promptly.

Though I regularly record many of my interviews, our papers are not in the practice of releasing recordings.

As we said earlier, this is why you don’t call a story a fabrication unless you have some pretty good backup — now, not only are you doubly guilty of saying some really stupid things, you look like a jerk and have probably permanently damaged your relationship with the local paper. Really, Rep. Summers, did you honestly think that calling an entire story a lie would be believable? Especially when you are quoted repeatedly?

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UPDATE: Rep. Summers responded in the comments section, claiming that the entire story was basically a lie by the reporter. We probably haven’t heard the end of this one, since challenging a reporter on an entire story doesn’t usually work out; there are a lot of quotes from Summers here, and if the reporter was recording the interview, this won’t end well. Here’s Summers’ comments:

Sorry to disappoint but Teen Challenge DOES NOT offer “reparative therapy.” I DO NOT believe taking drugs causes homosexuality and I DO NOT believe child abuse condemns one to a homosexual lifestyle. I DO believe that each person should have the freedom live their life as they see fit and seek appropriate help for issues they have when they determine they need it. You mean a reporter may have not accurately communicated the facts in an article and gave a distorted view based on a predisposed bias, what a rare occurance. Perhaps some reporters should stop writting.

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There’s a weird story in the current issue of The Columbine Courier about Rep. Ken Summers and his Teen Challenge of the Rocky Mountains program, which tries to help teens with alcohol and drug problems. Summers’ program also apparently offers “Reparative therapy,” which is a fancy way of saying they try to convince gay people that they’re not really gay.

“We would help people with those issues,” Summers said in a recent phone interview. Weeks before, he had sidestepped a question about whether Teen Challenge worked with clients on problems of a sexual nature, telling the Courier that the program primarily treats drug and alcohol addiction.

“It would depend on the situation of that particular issue,” he said, describing applicable clients as having a “cross-section of sexual behavior that has brought confusion into their life.”

When asked how many men the program had treated for homosexuality, Summers’ initial response was “zero.” But a phone conversation with a 180 Ministries staff member indicated the program had indeed attempted to “convert” gay men – and that Teen Challenge would likely accept such a client who had no history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Okay, so Summers apparently doesn’t want to freely admit that his program tries to “un-gay” people who come for help. We thought that was a bit odd, until he started trying to explain his theories:

Only after being confronted with the information obtained from the staff member did Summers concede that Teen Challenge has worked to “convert” gays to straight lives. But such treatment was secondary to drug therapy, he said, in explaining his previous response.

“I don’t think there have been that many in our program,” he said. “If people come to us for help, we’re going to tell them what the Bible says.”…

…But homosexuality is a behavior, Summers contends, a choice that can be changed – or controlled.

“The whole issue of sexual identity is very complicated,” he said, noting the Teen Challenge program confronts homosexuality through counseling and scripture.

“Those individuals have experienced some kind of violation in their history,” he said. “Many of them have been abused as a child, sexually.”

Summers also said homosexual behavior is often a side effect of drug abuse.

So, homosexuality is the result of childhood sexual abuse and/or drug abuse. Alrighty then! Well played, Mr. Summers. Well played. The retiring Sen. Dave Schultheis can rest easy knowing the role of class clown has plenty of candidates ready to carry on without him.

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44 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Gray in Mountains says:

    BJ is not the only one.

  2. Kiltartan Cross says:

    It’s a tough district, but Chris Radeff has been hustling on the ground and doing a good job raising money.  

    http://www.radeff4rep.com/

    For pocket book voters, they may not want to support a guy who spends his quality time worrying about other guys having sex.

      • Libertad says:

        Economy

        Getting Coloradoans back to work is a priority. Our state government can do much more to assist struggling small businesses and the middle class family. The budgeting process needs to be streamlined and it is time to eliminate the tax incentives and loopholes enjoyed by the corporations wooed to our beautiful state during a time when such tax breaks made sense. With today’s economy, we will recover faster if everyone pays their fair share.

        Right from her website…no talk about creating and saving some GOVERNMENT JOBS – this will definitely continue to do the trick.

  3. EmeraldKnight76 says:

    My mother is going to be very very disappointed to find out I have (had?) a drug abuse problem.

    I’ll also be confronting my partner tonight. I can’t believe he has been hiding his druggie past from me for all these years!!

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      Just like stealing television sets and falling asleep in class. The sooner we get after these problems with scripture, the better!

      • EmeraldKnight76 says:

        I’m thinking Scripture posted everywhere around the house will help “cure” my partner and I.

        Just think, once we’re cured I’ll be awake in class all the time but what to do with all the televisions??

    • ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

      If drug use correlates with homosexuality, I’m willing to bet my paycheck that it’s gay folks taking drugs in order to cope with asses like Ken Summers.

  4. marklane1351 says:

    The gospels do not mention homosexuality at all.  Yes that is right the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is based on what a bigoted man wrote down 2000 years ago.  I can write down that the Earth orbits the moon today and that won’t make it a fact in 2000 years.  Bigotry is Bigotry no matter when it happened and religous dogma should not be based on it.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      than something that would matter

    • parsingreality says:

      Just for the sake of accuracy, the following verses from Leviticus would be hard to interpret in any other way:

      18:22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

      20:13 If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

      Besides not understanding why they would do it, there’s the matter of “wasting” seed since every help in population was needed.

      • Gray in Mountains says:

        which is the reference ml1351 made

      • LakewoodTodd says:

        The problem with qouting Leviticus (aside from the acknowledged mistake in this post) is that, once you start quoting Leviticus to justify attitudes towards gay people, you have to acknowledge the place that homosexuality plays in Leviticus – which is minor.

        First of all, it is in a section of Leviticus regarding the Holiness codes – that is “What is clean and unclean.” More to the point, it is part of a list of behaviors that separate Jews from Gentiles. While none of us want to have our Love declared “unclean,” this is markedly different from issues of morality and immorality.

        Secondly, dishonoring your parents is listed as meriting the death penaly later in Leviticus. And, what’s more, dishonoring your parents is a prohibition that is repeated numerous times in Leviticus and not just in this section that describes Gentile behaviors.

        Leviticus is full of complications for modern Americans no matter what side of the political or sexual spectrum you find yourself on. But the use of Leviticus to justify homophobic attitudes just doesn’t stand up to closer examination.

  5. RepSummers says:

    …and start posting. Sorry to disappoint but Teen Challenge DOES NOT offer “reparative therapy.” I DO NOT believe taking drugs causes homosexuality and I DO NOT believe child abuse condemns one to a homosexual lifestyle. I DO believe that each person should have the freedom live their life as they see fit and seek appropriate help for issues they have when they determine they need it. You mean a reporter may have not accurately communicated the facts in an article and gave a distorted view based on a predisposed bias, what a rare occurance. Perhaps some reporters should stop writting.

  6. Arvadonian says:

    for the record, neither my parnter nor I were sexually abused as children; the only drugs that either of us have ever done was pot (and then only once for him and four or five times for me) and neither of us have or have ever had alcohol issues.  

    And quite frankly, our sexual orientation seems to present Mr. Summers with much more of a problem than it does either of us….perhaps he’s the one who needs counseling.

    Having said that, and all kidding aside, many gays and lesbians who are not accepted by their families and their peers turn to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism.  Programs such as TCRM are a part of the problem and certainly not a solution for gay and lesbian teens who are caught in a cycle of addiction.

  7. The Bob Hatter says:

    The fact is the more Socially conservative you are, the less likely you’re going to look good on this site.

    Or be like me and keep your mouth shut on those issues. 🙂

  8. Gray in the mountains says:

    we’ve caught up with Mississippi

  9. Libertad says:

    Coloradopols.com has been boosting this diary for 3 or 4 days straight. So far they have 25 comments.

    Maybe if they call in all their buddies and continue to repost this diary at the top of the page for another 2-3 days they might hit 100 comments.

  10. The Blood of Tyrants says:

    I’ve heard for years that Summers is a religious zealot, but he seemed so reasonable.  I thought there was no way.  Well, the jig is up and now we see him for the right-wing nut he really has been all along.

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