FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Contact: Wayne Besen, Executive Director
Truth Wins Out to New York Times: Stop Promoting the ‘Ex-Gay’ Myth to Teenagers
NYT-Owned About.com Claims Teens Can ‘Pray Away the Gay’
BURLINGTON, Vt – Truth Wins Out, the national LGBT organization dedicated to debunking the scientifically-discredited “ex-gay” myth, called on the New York Times Company today to remove a web page that falsely tells teenagers that they can “pray away the gay.” The Christian Teens section on About.com, a website the New York Times Company owns, contains an article entitled “Praying to Come Out of Homosexuality: Understanding Deliverance” which claims that “deliverance” from homosexuality can be achieved by people who believe.
“The New York Times Company must immediately remove this dangerously misleading page from its About.com website,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Just because the article is in a ‘Christian’ section doesn’t mean it should be a fact-free zone on a website claiming to provide accurate information.”
“The validity of so-called ‘ex-gay’ therapy is not a matter of opinion or dispute – there are not two equally valid and legitimate ‘sides’ to this issue,” added John Becker, TWO’s Director of Communications. “Literally every mainstream organization of medical and mental health professionals agrees that efforts to ‘pray away the gay’ do not work and often end up harming people.”
Even Exodus International, the world’s largest “ex-gay” umbrella group, now admits that attempts to change sexual orientation do not work. Its president, Alan Chambers, admitted this past summer that 99.9 of the organization’s clients do not transform from gay to straight. Chambers told the New York Times:
“I do not believe that ‘cure’ is a word that is applicable to really any struggle, homosexuality included. For someone to put out a shingle and say, ‘I can cure homosexuality’ – that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth.”
“It’s disappointing that the New York Times allowed inaccurate ‘ex-gay’ propaganda on a website aimed at vulnerable teenagers,” said Mike Airhart, the Truth Wins Out contributor who received a tip regarding the About.com article. “The company has a professional responsibility to stop promoting this harmful misinformation.”
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to create a world where LGBT individuals can live openly, honestly and true to themselves. TWO monitors anti-LGBT organizations, documents their lies and exposes their leaders. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.