Associated Press Identifies “Ex-Gay” Extremist as “Counselor” (With Aug. 28 Update)

Image of "Ex-Gay" Christopher Doyle

In an otherwise fair and informative video report about “ex-gay” therapies and legislation to curtail their use with minors, the Associated Press identifies Christopher Doyle merely as a “counselor in Virginia who says he used to be gay.”

Doyle may consider himself a “counselor” (and a heterosexual), but he’s also an anti-gay activist and an extremist on “ex-gay” issues. The AP does its viewers a disservice by failing to mention Doyle’s controversial and radical activism.

As Brian Tashman of Right Wing Watch revealed earlier this year, for example, Doyle has “made the outlandish claim that if ex-gay counseling is restricted, then youth who have been sexually abused will never report the harm done to them and ‘more Jerry Sanduskys will get off scot-free.'” (The last part is a direct quote from Doyle.) You can listen to the comments in question and watch the AP video report below. Click here or on ‘Read More’ to view the full post

On Tennis Rackets and New Jersey’s “Conversion” Therapy Ban (Updated 4:10 p.m. with link to Gov. Christie’s Statement)

Tennis Racket

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will sign a bill today that prohibits therapists and other state-licensed mental-health professionals from engaging in “sexual orientation change efforts”—often called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy—with any person under eighteen.

This makes New Jersey the second state, after California, with a law protecting minors from this discredited and harmful practice, though California’s law is on hold pending the outcome of a federal lawsuit.

Why have I included an image of a tennis racket with this photo?

Alan Chambers’ Incomplete Apology

Alan Chambers of Exodus International

By some measures, Alan Chambers has taken extraordinary steps to make amends for the damage he has done to LGBT people and their families over the years. In June, he announced that Exodus International, the world-famous “ex-gay” organization that he led for over a decade, would shut its doors, and he issued a moving apology to the LGBT community for the suffering and trauma that he had inflicted in LGBT people’s lives.

Over the summer, he has shared his new vision with journalists, television reporters and bloggers, giving multiple interviews in which he has repeated his apology for endorsing “ex-gay” therapies and expressed hope for reconciliation with the LGBT community. In a radio interview with Michelangelo Signorile late last week, he even voiced support for legislation to prohibit health professionals from performing “conversion” therapy on minors.

The recent Signorile interview also served as a reminder, however, that Chambers’ position on LGBT issues has undergone only a partial change. While he now concedes the ineffectiveness and harm of therapies aimed at eliminating same-sex attractions, Chambers still refuses to affirm the equal dignity and moral worth of same-sex relationships. He also refuses to support legal equality for same-sex couples. Early summer headlines suggesting that Chambers and Exodus International now advocate “acceptance,” or that they’ve declared an “unconditional surrender in the culture war,” have proven premature, at best. And Chambers’ apology to the LGBT community, while moving, is still incomplete.