Libertarian pundit and veteran ABC investigative reporter John Stossel upset the nation’s handful of exgay activists in 2004 when he interviewed both exgays and ex-exgays, and concluded that the exgay movement consists of only a handful of ideological activists who are abandoned at a steady pace by people who say the movement failed to “change” them.
In a press release issued today, Exodus criticized Stossel for renewing his criticisms of the exgay political front. Stossel commented on exgays during a May 10 appearance on Fox News’s “O’Reilly Factor” to promote his new book, Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity : Get Out the Shovel–Why Everything You Know is Wrong.
Exodus quotes Stossel telling O’Reilly:
One of the myths is that you can change homosexuality. There are these groups like Exodus International that says, ‘We can fix you. If you just pray, if you turn your life over to Jesus, we can make you straight.’ And I’ve talked to lots of people who supposedly were cured and they were not.”
Exodus stops there, leading readers to believe Stossel denied the existence of exgays. But that’s a misquote by Exodus: Stossel did acknowledge the uneasy existence of some exgays, but O’Reilly cut Stossel off. Here’s the entirety of the on-air exchange about homosexuality:
O’REILLY: All right. Homosexuality. You have something in the book. What did you find out?
STOSSEL: One of the myths is that you can change homosexuality. There are these groups like Exodus International that says, “We can fix you. If you just pray, if you turn your life over to Jesus, we can make you straight.” And I’ve talked to lots of people who supposedly were cured. And they were not.
O’REILLY: All of them?
STOSSEL: No. That’s not fair. There were…
O’REILLY: Did you find any cures?
STOSSEL: We talked to one guy who said he was cured. He was not convincing. Their poster boy was caught in a gay bar, and I talked to lots of people who said they tried and…
O’REILLY: So you believe it’s biological and you can’t — you can’t change it?
STOSSEL: And who wants to be gay? You’re ridiculed during life. Nobody chooses this in America in this day and age.
O’REILLY: All right. That’s another stance. Now that will get the conservatives mad. So you got the liberals mad on global warming.
STOSSEL: I can’t win.
O’REILLY: And the conservatives mad on the gays.
In today’s press release, Exodus president Alan Chambers responded vaguely that there are “thousands of former homosexuals” but he makes no effort to substantiate the statistic.
Chambers also said “… Mr. Stossel did not accurately or adequately research this side of such an important social issue.” But Stossel did research the issue carefully with Chambers in 2004 — why didn’t Chambers provide evidence of “thousands” of exgays then?