On Monday, August 1, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition aired a report from Alix Spiegel entitled “Can Therapy Help Change Sexual Orientation?” Instead of accurately representing “ex-gay therapy” as ineffective, dangerous, and condemned by every mainstream professional medical and mental health organization, NPR opted to misrepresent the facts, falsely framing the story as a debate between two equally legitimate sides that “has been raging in psychological circles for more than a decade.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. A 2009 press release from the American Psychological Association announcing the results of an exhaustive study on the efficacy of “ex-gay” therapy says it all: “Insufficient evidence [exists] that sexual orientation change efforts work… Practitioners should avoid telling clients that they can change from gay to straight.” In a recent ABC News interview discussing “ex-gay” therapy, renowned author and psychiatrist Jack Drescher put the discredited practice in its proper perspective: “This is so far outside the mainstream it's practically on Mars.”
Truth Wins Out, GLAAD, and other organizations called on NPR to correct and apologize for parroting “ex-gay” propaganda. Instead, NPR Ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos released a tepid, long-winded blog post in which he demonstrated a much greater interest in defending his reporter than correcting her errors.
The Ombudsman’s response is disappointing and woefully inadequate. We expect better from a top-notch, well-respected news organization like National Public Radio. Join Truth Wins Out in calling on NPR to meet with TWO and survivors of “ex-gay” programs so they can be fully informed about the dangers of the “ex-gay” myth.