Prof. Warren Throckmorton of the conservative Christian Grove City College has produced a new exgay video.

The 48-minute program, “I Do Exist,” features interviews with researchers Robert L. Spitzer and Mark Yarhouse and testimonials by five exgay activists, including Noe Gutierrez and Greg Quinlan.

Prof. Throckmorton’s web site quotes several pro-exgay activists praising the video, and the religious-right news service AgapePress features a full story about the program.

Addendum, Sept. 13: The AgapePress story quotes Throckmorton objecting to an American Psychological Association resolution that advocated the legalization of gay marriage. It does indeed seem strange that the APA, a professional organization, would adopt a position on gay marriage. But Throckmorton does not substantiate his accusation that the APA adopted the measure without debate after it was put forth by a gay caucus within the APA. Nor does he acknowledge his own unscientific and political motives for opposing gay marriage.

From another AgapePress promo for the video:

Throckmorton says his film conveys a message that is often censored by the media and homosexual activist groups: “You can live consistently with a traditional view of sexuality, it’s not harmful to do so, and varying degrees of change is possible for people who believe that that’s how they should live,” Throckmorton says. “This film gives that option.”

Throckmorton’s comment is accurate up to a point; unfortunately, as he has done many times before, he overlooks scientific studies (Shidlo/Schroeder among them) indicating that some ex-gay therapies and philosophies are harmful. And in representing ex-gay programs as harmless, Throckmorton declines to offer valid options to those who have been harmed.

The timing of Throckmorton’s video promotion is intended as a response to those who encourage individuals to be honest about their sexual orientation:

Churches, colleges, and schools across the U.S. will be showing the film October 9-11 in an effort to counter “National Coming Out Day,” an event celebrated by homosexual groups. Throckmorton says the video counters the claims of activists who observe that event.

“The methods that they are promoting on that day [and during] that week are that the only healthy response to same-sex attraction is to ‘come out’ as homosexual and embrace a homosexual identity,” the researcher explains. “The film I Do Exist! gives the narratives of these individuals who’ve chosen a different path, one that is consistent with traditional Church teaching concerning sexuality.”

The AgapePress promo’s closing statement may seem ludicrous to youths who struggle with same-sex attraction in the nation’s schools:

Throckmorton says it will be difficult to get the film shown in high school health classes and public universities, where homosexuality is viewed as normal, legitimate behavior.

Throckmorton overlooks the rapid growth of Safe Schools programs and gay-straight alliances. These programs, confined largely to relatively tolerant urban areas, are a response to prevailing antigay school violence in cities otherwise known for growing tolerance. Throckmorton neglects to explain the absence of pro-tolerance programs from the nation’s less-tolerant heartland.

September 18, 2004, press release by Prof. Throckmorton
September 21, 2004, article at
List of video showings in 30 cities

The article inaccurately reflects the stature of Dr. Robert Spitzer’s studies, possibly confusing his research with that of Paul Cameron.

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