In Aug. 2003, TruthWinsOut.org founder Wayne Besen received a call from Virginia attorney Michael Hamar. He had a client who believed he may have been infected with HIV from ‘ex-gay’ leader Michael Johnston.
Johnston was the founder of National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day. He was Rev. Jerry Falwell’s personal ex-gay leader. Johnston also starred in a video for the American Family Association, “It’s Not Gay, and an ad for Coral Ridge Ministries. Additionally, he partnered with anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera, who paraded Johnston around and hawked his tale of change.
In Aug. 2003, Besen took the train down to Norfolk, where Hamar introduced him to two men who claimed to have had unsafe sex with Johnston. Others have since been identified.
Atlanta’s GLBT newspaper Southern Voice broke the story. In the article, a spokesperson for the American Family Association admitted that Johnston had what he called, a “moral fall.” Johnston was shipped off to Pure Life Ministries, a sex addiction facility in rural Kentucky. He never left the facility and works there today.
Johnston was not prosecuted because the men involved were worried about losing their jobs. Both men, however, are grateful, that TruthWinsOut,org is telling the Michael Johnston story.
Sadly, the American Family Association still sells Johnston’s fraudulent video, “It’s Not Gay,”- without warning buyers about Johnston’s moral morass. The video is also shamelessly promoted by LaBarbera, who cares little for the truth and has yet to apologize for his role in giving Johnston a platform.
In this video, we interview Hamar and he discusses this case.