In 1998, Newsweek published a cover story on "ex-gay" superstar John Paulk and his wife Anne under the headline "Gay For Life?" This gave a major platform to advocates for harmful and fraudulent "ex-gay" therapy and the charalatans who promote it. The article helped advance the "ex-gay" movement into the mainstream, and many LGBT people and their families were hurt or destroyed as a result. Now that John Paulk has come clean, come out as a gay man, apologized to those he hurt, and finally, repudiated "ex-gay" therapy as an ineffective practice that causes more harm than good, Newsweek should do its journalistic duty and prominently correct the record on their 1998 story. We are asking Tina Brown and Newsweek to publish an article that tells the real stories of John Paulk and the harm caused by "ex-gay" therapy.
Please publish a prominent article correcting the record on your 1998 cover story, "Gay For Life?" about the fraudulent, harmful "ex-gay" movement. As John Paulk has recently come clean, come out as a gay man, and apologized for the harm his work has caused over the years, we feel that Newsweek has a journalistic responsibility to tell the real stories of John Paulk and the "ex-gay" movement. When the piece was published in 1998, it gave a mainstream platform to "ex-gay"/reparative therapy, a practice which no major medical or mental health organization endorses. As a result of the mainstream exposure, many LGBT people and their families were hurt or destroyed, and their stories deserve to be told. While we understand that Tina Brown was not at the helm of Newsweek in 1998 and thus bears no blame for the repercussions of that article, we feel that she is in a unique position to be part of the solution. We look forward to reading the real story in Newsweek.
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