Gay Conversion Therapy: ABC News 20/20 Yearlong Investigation

 “Gay conversion therapy advocates heartened by Republican electoral victories”

Gay conversion therapy, the idea that one can change ones sexual orientation or gender identity through intensive and extreme psychological reparative therapies or simply “praying the gay away” at fundamentalist Christian camps, has been widely debunked and denounced by the medical and psychiatric professions.  Moreover, the practice has been outlawed in six states  and the District of Columbia because it can actually harms those subjected to it.


Sadly it may be poised for a resurgence according to a new article by ABC News’ Brian Ross and Brian Epstein.  From their report,

“Advocates of long-discredited gay conversion therapy programs say they are heartened by the election of Donald Trump and are counting on Vice President Mike Pence and congressional Republicans to help fight off efforts to make such programs illegal.”

‘I certainly hope that this administration will pull back from some of the aggressive activism that the Obama administration engaged in,’ said Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, a powerful conservative lobbying group in Washington that is active in supporting sexual reorientation efforts.

At the Republican National Convention last year, delegates voted for a party platform that appeared to tacitly endorse the right of parents to send their teens to conversion programs, supporting the ‘right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children.’

The party position mirrors the position of the Family Research Council, which considers sexual reorientation therapy mental health care.  ‘If someone is experiencing something mentally, like same-sex attractions, that is causing distress, then that’s a mental health issue,’ Sprigg said.”

Full ABC News report HERE

This Friday night, ABC’s 20/20 will air their yearlong investigation into gay conversion therapy. 

“The “20/20” report includes revelations of two programs that conducted conversion therapy in Alabama, including one in which Christian pastors overseeing dozens of teens were convicted of child abuse amid stark allegations of beatings administered to teens who resisted efforts to change their sexual orientation.”


LGBT children need to be protected from the mental, emotional and physical abuse of conversion therapy.   As a Community we have a responsibility to those coming up and coming out, especially in states where they have no places to go for support, to advocate for them and at the very least stop the added danger they face from these practices. 

According to SPEAK (Suicide Prevention Education Awareness for Kids)

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among Gay and Lesbian youth nationally.
  • 30% of Gay youth attempt suicide near the age of 15.
  • Gays and Lesbians are two to six times more likely to suicide than Heterosexuals.
  • Almost half of the Gay and Lesbian teens state they have attempted suicide more than once.
  • It has been conservatively estimated the 1,500 Gay and Lesbian youth commit suicide every year.

6 thoughts on “Gay Conversion Therapy: ABC News 20/20 Yearlong Investigation

  • March 10, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    My heart breaks for these brave young men and women. I’d be proud to adopt any one of them and welcome them into my modest home. Conversion “therapy” is despicable and that it’s done in the name of Christian values makes it even more disgusting and horrifying. What kind of people are these parents who can send their children away to suffer such brutality in the name of God? I could barely watch the entire show, it was so disturbing, but thank ABC for bringing it into the the light, as we need to know this is happening. We also need to remember we have a vice president who condones conversion “therapy.” I believe it should be outlawed and am ashamed that anyone, anywhere can get away with this in America. People are entitled to their sexual preference, yet what I see happening in our country seems to be getting more horrific ever since Trump’s run. His overt racism, sexism , xenophobia, homophobia and fear mongering has engendered such horrible mayhem I fear for the future of our country. I’ll keep fighting for what’s just and right as long as I can stand. Tonight’s show confirmed that we have a very long way to go in treating Gay men and women with dignity, equality and yes, love.

    • March 11, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Thank you.

  • March 11, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Shame on you 20/20 for twisting and lying about the Republican platform. For the 1st time ever, a Republican candidate for President stood up in front of America and said we want to protect and include gays. Watch the Presidents acceptance speech.

  • March 11, 2017 at 2:10 am

    I think parents need to do more research before they submit their children to this. I am a christian and it appalls me to see what people do under the guise of religion.

  • March 11, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I am distressed when someone prints a simple verse of scripture and assumes that the truth has been spoken and the argument is over. I can prove that the Bible says there is no God—if I take a certain verse out of context, as many “Christians” do with regard to their views of a homosexual orientation.

    I was distressed as I viewed this episode of 20/20 this morning (recorded last night). When I see the words “Christian pastor(s)” or “Christian parents” associated with the atrocities committed within these “academies” I want to shout from the rooftop—THOSE ARE MISNOMERS! I think Amos B. Alcott must have foreseen the likes of both groups when he said, “To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.” Seems appropriate for these “pastors and parents”.

    I am in my 87th year of life out of the womb and my 40th year of life out of the closet. I am an ordained, former Baptist minister and I am gay. I was celibate for nearly 47 years before pushing open the closet door—after I had left the ministry. I had known I was different since pre-grammar school years. After that coming out, a deacon in a church I had served was the person who introduced me to sex with a man—he was my first, but I was not his. He now condemns me for my “hypocrisy” of being a minister while being gay.

    Thanks, 20/20, for dealing with this horrific subject. It needed to be brought to the attention of the American people. Just remember, some people are gay and others need to accept that fact and just get over it. I was interested to note that you had enlisted the input of Peter Sprigg, a member of the Family Research Council (FRC) to “speak for God.” He, along with Tony Perkins, also of FRC, seem to have been obsessed with homosexuality and same-sex behavior for many years. So long in fact that I have wondered if maybe those two guys aren’t getting it on together.

    Thanks again for solid coverage.


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