The poster boy for the "ex-gay movement, John Paulk, has finally agreed to publicly rebuke the entire notion that "sexual conversion therapy" has any effect, proving (yet again) that the ex-gay movement is an entire fraud.
Portland Quarterly has the scoop:
Until recently, I have struggled all my life in feeling unloved and unaccepted. I have been on a journey during the last few years in trying to understand God, myself, and how I can best relate to others. During this journey I have made many mistakes and I have hurt many people including people who are close to me. I have also found a large number of people who accept me for who I am regardless of my past, any labels, or what I do.
I no longer support the ex-gay movement or efforts to attempt to change individuals — especially teens who already feel insecure and alienated. I feel great sorrow over the pain that has been caused when my words were misconstrued. I have worked at giving generously to the gay community in Portland where I work and live. I am working hard to be authentic and genuine in all of my relationships.
Paulk is still used by heterosexual supremacists and inveterate homophobes to make the false claim that "sexual orientation is a choice" (although, curiously, they never seem to think being heterosexual is a choice).
The ex-gay movement has always been fraudulent, and they know it. However, the existence of alleged "ex-gays" makes it possible for people like anti-gay Arizona Republican Congressman Matt Salmon to believe that he could change his gay son's sexual orientation. Salmon made headlines recently when the congressman announced that he is opposed to gay marriage despite having an openly gay son (also named Matt).
The notion that "you can choose not to be gay" also greatly harms thousands of young people every year who are uncomfortable with their developing sexual orientation and their sudden realization they live in a society with ingrained, institutionalized homophobia. If they hear that it is possible to change one's sexual orientation and they invariably fail to do so, this can lead to potentially fatal levels of disappointment. It can be very difficult to be openly gay in many environments, especially when LGBT citizens do not enjoy full civil rights and much of public policy reinforces societal homophobia.
The organization Truth Wins Out has been following this case for years and is the go-to organization combating the virulent anti-LGBT movement. It's founder Wayne Besen, wrote the book Anything But Straight about the Paulk and the fraudulent ex-gay movement and his work has been completely vindicated.
hat/tip to LGBT Think Progress