About 200 readers have complained to the Los Angeles Times for running a full-page ad on July 23 from Exodus, an antigay group that claims to "cure" its members of being gay or lesbian, as reported by Times columnist Steve Lopez on Wednesday.
The ad featured an "ex-gay" man named Randy, who said he became gay because he had been abandoned by his father and "felt desperate for the physical touch only a father can give." When another male approached him for sex, he said, he was "putty in his hands." Randy now says, "Today I am an ex-gay. No, wait... I don't define myself anymore with a sexual identity. I'm just...Randy."
"Shame on you," wrote one reader to the Times. Another reader wondered how the newspaper could accept money to spread hatred, according to Lopez.
The Times advertising department responded to Lopez that "advocacy ads must meet our advertising standards and communicate their points of view legally and responsibly. This particular ad met those requirements." It provided no further explanation of those standards.
Lopez also reported that the two men who founded Exodus in the 1970s eventually became romantically involved and left their wives. He contacted Exodus in an effort to locate Randy, but there was no response.