In the wake of last weekend's NARTH and Soulforce conferences in Philadelphia, the media has devoted some attention to the ex-gay movement. On Monday, November 8th, ABC's Nightline featured a segment on ex-gay programs. Specifically, Nightline focused on a Journey into Manhood retreat, the same program infiltrated by Ted Cox in his expose, My Journey into Manhood. To watch the segment, click here and begin at the 6:30 mark.
I appreciate how Nightline acknowledged the program founders' lack of qualifications, as well as the negative experiences of two ex-gay program survivors. Still, I was disappointed in how shallow Nightline's research was. The segment took little time to explore the the trauma many ex-gay program survivors report, as well as how many ex-gay programs conflate sexual orientation with stereotypical gender roles.
To boot, I was stunned that Nightline made no mention of the large role of Religious Right organizations in spearheading the ex-gay movement. Are they aware of the many conservative faith-based ex-gay organizations, such as Exodus, JONAH, Desert Streams Ministry, and Love In Action? Are they aware of the role of prominent right-wing Christian organizations in the movement, such as Focus on the Family and the American Family Association? These are major elements of the ex-gay movement. I realize that Nightline only had a short amount of time for the segment, but to ignore these important elements was neglectful.
I'm pleased that ABC at least brought attention to the bogus ex-gay movement, but with regard to important details, I think they dropped the ball.
To read additional commentary on the Nightline segment, visit these links:
Truth Wins Out: Nightline: Journey into Manhood Poster Boy Cruises Men With Wife; Analysis of Puff Segment
Ex-Gay Watch: Journey into Manhood Investigated by ABC's Nightline