From Truth Wins Out, which reports on the ex-gay movement:
Burlington, Vt. – Truth Wins Out commended former “ex-gay” poster-boy John Paulk for taking an important first step in being honest about who he is, but stated that Paulk must do much more to make up for the damage he, his estranged wife and the Religious Right have done to the LGBT community over the last twenty years.
In a piece in PQ Monthly, Paulk, who has perhaps done more to hurt LGBT families than any other single person in the “ex-gay” industry, states for the record that he no longer endorses efforts to change people’s sexuality:
“Until recently, I have struggled all my life in feeling unloved and unaccepted,” Paulk said. “I have been on a journey during the last few years in trying to understand God, myself, and how I can best relate to others. During this journey I have made many mistakes and I have hurt many people including people who are close to me. I have also found a large number of people who accept me for who I am regardless of my past, any labels, or what I do.”
Paulk continued, “I no longer support the ex-gay movement or efforts to attempt to change individuals — especially teens who already feel insecure and alienated. I feel great sorrow over the pain that has been caused when my words were misconstrued. I have worked at giving generously to the gay community in Portland where I work and live. I am working hard to be authentic and genuine in all of my relationships.”
While John Paulk is to be commended, after so many years, for finally being honest, Truth Wins Out believes much more needs to be done. According to Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen, “It is not enough to simply send an e-mail that says, ‘I’m sorry.’ John Paulk must work to atone for the damage he has done to LGBT families by taking a public role in renouncing and working against the harmful ‘ex-gay’ industry by embarking on a speaking tour to show that he truly has changed. Further, he should advocate for a bill in Oregon that would ban so-called ‘reparative therapy’ for minors. Only then can he start to repair the damage he has done to countless LGBT people and their families.”