Peterson Toscano reported Wednesday on his arrival in Memphis for Beyond Ex-Gay’s Deconstructing the Ex-Gay Myth — A Weekend of Action & Art, which begins today. Two local media outlets have reported on the event: the Memphis Flyer published an interview with Toscano yesterday, while the Memphis Commercial Appeal featured fellow Love In Action survivor Jacob Wilson.
Focus on the Family, whose Love Won Out roadshow rolls into Memphis on Saturday, will no doubt point to the local press’ greater interest in Beyond Ex-Gay’s event as an example of anti-Christian media bias, yet Focus’ own reporting displays far less objectivity than the comparatively neutral Flyer and Commercial Appeal columns. In a February 20 press release, Focus on the Family refers to Beyond Ex-Gay simply as “local activist groups” with a “revisionist view of the Bible.”
The press release goes on to cite the Jones & Yarhouse study as proof that orientation change is achievable by anyone who wants it, without any acknowledgment of the study’s methodological flaws or the fact that, even taken at face value, the study’s own claims are considerably more modest than the press release’s bold claim that “a traditional reading of the Bible… was proven true” by Jones & Yarhouse.
Given Focus on the Family’s consistently dismal track record when it comes to honest and accurate reporting, it comes as little surprise that Love Won Out is already misrepresenting the Jones & Yarhouse study. Fortunately the general public can now see the fruits of LWO’s prescriptions for themselves through the stories and artwork of ex-gay survivors.