Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is lashing out against news outlet CNN over a segment aired yesterday involving California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and Richard Cohen, a former homosexual who now claims to be straight.
CNN anchor Kyra Phillips began the segment by asking the viewers if homosexuality was a problem that needed to be cured. She was referencing Lawenthal’s efforts to repeal outdated California legislation that requires state funding to find the “causes” and “cure” of homosexuality. Cohen, an “ex-gay” activist, argued against repealing the law, saying that studying the causes of homosexuality is useful in helping those who don’t want to be gay become straight.
GLAAD issued a statement on its website earlier today chastising CNN for its segment.
In an attempt to discuss efforts to repeal an outdated law in California requiring the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the “causes” and “cures” of being gay, CNN’s took the irresponsible step of allowing the unlicensed, widely discredited, so-called “ex-gay” activist Richard Cohen onto the network’s airwaves to promote the idea that gay people can be turned straight.
While the segment tried to give the appearance of “balance,” the airtime afforded the disreputable Cohen to tout “healing” gay people, coupled with a lack of information about the harms caused by such practices is unacceptable. As GLAAD has noted in our publication, Unmasking So-Called Ex-Gay Activists, “The nation’s leading medical and mental health authorities have uniformly dismissed the idea that being gay is something to be ‘treated.'”
The group is urging its supporters to write CNN and complain about the segment, saying that Phillips failed to mention scientific facts regarding sexual identity.