"Ex-gay" Advocate Admits He Never Was
John Paulk, a man described as the poster boy of the ex-gay movement in the 1990's -- he was the founder of the Focus on the Family-sponsored symposium Love Won Out, featuring speakers claiming to have been former homosexuals who underwent conversion or reparative therapy, and chairman of Exodus International, also sponsored by Focus on the Family, which offers freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ -- has admitted that he never changed his sexual orientation. Outed in 2009 when he was spotted in a Washington DC gay bar, Paulk, who had appeared on the cover of Newsweek and was spotlighted by Oprah, 60 Minutes and Good Morning America, has now admitted that he had used the media to offer false hope to gay people that they could become heterosexuals. In an email to PQ Monthly (the PQ stands for Proudly Queer), Paulk said, I do not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation; in fact, it does great harm to many people. ... I know that countless people were harmed by things I said and did in the past. But his limited admission and apology clearly are not sufficient for some gay activists, who believe that Paulk should now use the media to counteract the damage he had inflicted in the past. Gay activist Terry Bean is urging his supporters to boycott Paulk's catering business in Oregon. This is damage he's done to millions of kids -- kids who tried to 'pray the gay away' and when they couldn't, killed themselves, Bean told PQ. Every hour he waits to do this, there are kids being badly hurt by the stuff that's out there -- the things he continues to not refute publicly.