Former ‘Ex-Gay’ Leader Confirms that Kellyanne Conway and Mike Pence Support ‘ex-gay’ ministries
As member of The Arlington Group, Randy Thomas was privy to their feelings about conversion therapy
PHILADELPHIA – Truth Wins Out released a video interview today with former “ex-gay” leader Randy Thomas, where he claimed that President Donald Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway and Vice President Mike Pence were supportive of “ex-gay” ministries and conversion therapy. Thomas was former Vice President and chief lobbyist of the now defunct Exodus International (1976-2013), which was the world’s largest “ex-gay” ministry before it shut down because no one was changing their sexual orientation from gay-to-straight.
Randy was familiar with the views of Conway and Pence through his lobbying and regular participation in the shadowy right-wing strategy organizations, The Arlington Group and the DC Group.
“My experience with the Arlington Group leads me to believe that Mike Pence is very supportive of ‘ex-gay’ ministry and he supports the efforts to try to convert people from gay-to-straight,” said Randy Thomas. (9:42)
In 2016, The New York Times reported that Pence’s spokesman, Marc Lotter, denied that the vice president-elect supports the practice, saying a past campaign statement had been misinterpreted. The comments by Randy Thomas directly contradict Pence’s insistence that he doesn’t support conversion therapy.
Thomas continued, “When I met Kellyanne Conway…she came across as very personable, very smart. I never had a lot of personal conversations with her, but she was very supportive of us at Exodus.” (9:56)
“Randy’s observations show that key members of the Trump administration have supported a barbaric form of torture that destroys the lives of LGBT people,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We call on Pence and Conway to publicly denounce ‘ex-gay’ programs and support a national ban on conversion therapy for LGBT youth.”
In Truth Wins Out’s video, Randy details his journey from drug-abusing homeless LGBT youth who was gay bashed as the police mocked him, to the pinnacle of right wing “ex-gay” activism. At the apex of his career, Randy stood beside President George W. Bush, at a White House ceremony in 2006, to lobby in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have banned marriage equality.
After much soul searching and guilt, Randy has left “ex-gay” ministry and apologized to the LGBT community. Today, Randy lives in Orlando, is out and proud, and plans to marry his partner Dan Scobey. The two founded a non-profit organization, Thrive LGBTQ+, to foster acceptance and counter the “ex-gay” industry.
Founded in 2006, Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit think tank and advocacy organization that fights against right wing extremism, the “ex-gay” myth and anti-LGBTQ prejudice and discrimination.