WATCH: Right-Wing 'Documentary' Tries to Defend 'Ex-Gay' Therapy

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com December 12 2013 4:31 PM ET

Two right-wing organizations that advocate so-called reparative therapy, which aims to turn gay people straight, have produced a spurious "documentary" that the organizations claim presents "clear evidence showing that no one is 'born gay' and that many people with unwanted same-sex attraction have been able to change."

As an increasing number of states move toward outlawing the scientifically discredited practice known as "sexual orientation change therapy," or "ex-gay therapy," antigay organizations that believe sexual orientation can be changed through counseling and prayer have produced what they call a "much anticipated documentary" that chronicles the experiences of four men — several of whom appear anonymously — as they "live the homosexual lifestyle … then discuss their experiences with therapy that helped them to develop a healthy heterosexual orientation." 

The organizations behind the 30-minute film are the notorious National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, and Family Watch International, an antigay group that Right Wing Watch reports is associated with the World Congress of Families, which has endorsed the criminalization of homosexuality and counts virulently antigay Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa among its international volunteers. Family Watch International first announced the documentary's release in a September newsletter, which also lamented the passage of laws in New Jersey and California prohibiting  licensed therapists from engaging in the discredited practice on minors. Pennsylvania and Minnesota plan to consider similar legislation to outlaw "ex-gay" therapy, which has been disavowed as harmful and ineffective by every major medical and psychological organization in the country. 

The documentary features "expert" commentary claiming that homosexuality is "the sexualization of emotional needs and wounds" and contending that a gay or lesbian identity is the result of a combination of "contributing factors," including a "wounded gender identity," bullying, childhood sexual abuse, absent fathers — which the documentary terms "Father Hunger" — and overbearing mothers, or, as the film calls it, "Mother Confusion."

Right Wing Watch compiled a highlights reel of some of the most preposterous claims made in the "Documentary," which has since been removed from both YouTube and Vimeo. Watch RWW's compilation below.