Gay activist Wayne Besen responds to a threat by an ex-gay political coalition to sue school districts that do not promote ex-gay claims, or that suggest homosexuality may have a biological component.

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003

Contact: Wayne Besen
Mobile: 917-691-5118


Right Wing Legal Intimidation Won’t Erase The Truth That Ex-Gay Groups Use Bad Science and Their Leaders Chronically Fail, Says Besen

ST. LOUIS – Wayne Besen, author of ANYTHING BUT STRAIGHT: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth today dared a right wing coalition to sue school districts that did not promote their harmful and scientifically bankrupt ex-gay message, as they threatened to do in an article in the conservative Cybercast News Service.

“I urge this extremist coalition to make good on their baseless legal threats so we can use this opportunity to showcase the failure of the ex-gay ministries,” said Author Wayne Besen. “Just imagine how devastating it would be to present to the court a parade of failed ex-gay leaders and damaged people who claim ex-gay groups shattered their lives. We would easily win the legal battle in court and in the court of public opinion.”

In the CNS article, Arthur Goldberg, president of the ex-gay group Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality said he was working with a coalition looking for ways to sue schools that did not offer the ex-gay message. According to CNS Goldberg said schools and universities that tell questioning individuals homosexuality is genetic may be liable in lawsuits if clients endanger themselves or others by engaging in sex acts on the advice of school counselors and psychologists.

“Goldberg and his coalition of kooks and quacks have no legal standing and their threats smack of classic bullying and intimidation designed to scare counselors and school districts,” said Besen. “If they elect to sue, it will surely backfire. I believe that if these cases start going to court, some key reparative therapists will open the door to severe charges and possible legal ramifications for psychologically abusing clients.”

Besen made international news when he photographed “ex-gay” poster boy John Paulk cruising a gay bar in Washington, D.C. In August, Besen again made headlines when he uncovered HIV positive ex-gay leader Michael Johnston’s not so ex-gay life. Besen traveled to Norfolk, Va. and found that Johnston was allegedly having unsafe sex with several men, even as he was a spokesperson for Rev. Jerry Falwell and other major right wing groups.

Besen is currently in St. Louis as part of his 55-city-28 state book tour. Please visit for further information or tour dates.

Besen is a nationally recognized advocate for gay and lesbian rights. He is a frequent guest on leading news and political talk shows including: the NBC Nightly News, The Roseanne Show, CNN’s Talk Back Live and The Point, Fox’s O’Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes, Fox News and MSNBC News.

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