Writing in the Salt Lake Tribune, Mormon exgay activist David Clarke Pruden — head of Evergreen International — misrepresents gay activist claims about scientific research into the origins of sexual orientation, in order to claim that those unnamed activists have been, well, misrepresenting the research.
Specifically, Pruden falsely claims that gay activists are wedded to the notion that homosexuality is determined by a gay gene. But Pruden fails to name a single activist who subscribes to such a theory.
While some of Pruden’s scientific citations are plausible, he mischaracterizes the research of Dr. Robert Spitzer. Pruden neglects to tell readers that Spitzer’s 2001 study purposely excluded the majority of exgays who fail to remain exgay for five years. Pruden uses Spitzer’s selection of 200 rare success stories among exgay activists to suggest that most people who join exgay ministries achieve “good heterosexual functioning” and that nearly all exgays are “bothered slightly or not at all by unwanted homosexual feelings.”
Spitzer recently protested Focus on the Family’s misuse of his research; apparently Pruden either doesn’t read reliable sources of exgay news, or he likes to gamble with his own organization’s reputation.