Kirsten Andersen

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Gay activists condemn Dr. Oz Show for featuring both sides of reparative therapy debate

Kirsten Andersen
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NEW YORK CITY, December 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Homosexual activists are outraged that Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the Dr. Oz Show, aired an episode featuring advocates of both sides of the reparative therapy debate. Reparative therapy is designed to help people with same-sex attraction overcome their homosexual urges.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) issued a joint statement condemning the episode, titled “From Gay to Straight? The Controversial Therapy.”

“The issue is not one that can be discussed as though both sides are equally valid,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. In Graddick’s opinion, reparative therapy is “outdated, ultimately harmful, and in modern media, should be treated like lobotomies or medical mercury.”

Graddick and his fellow activists are upset that the Dr. Oz Show gave the practice coverage, calling the reparative therapy episode a “lengthy platform for junk science.”

At the episode’s start, Dr. Oz warned that viewers may find the subject matter controversial or upsetting, but said he thinks it’s important to have the discussion.  He also says he knows some believe it is “irresponsible for me to do a show like this and give these issues a platform.”

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The episode featured organizations that advocate for reparative therapy, including the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.
The show’s producers say the episode’s topic was prompted by the passage of a California law banning reparative therapy for children under 18.

That law has since been challenged in court by reparative therapists who argue the ban violates their freedom of speech.  A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of the ban on the plaintiffs until a ruling can be made on the issue.

In a statement, a spokesperson for The Dr. Oz Show said the episode was meant to examine the “medical angles of reparative therapy and the controversy surrounding it,” in response to the California law.

“While we acknowledge this is a difficult conversation to have, it’s critical that a discussion like this happen through the filter of a show like The Dr. Oz Show rather than in secluded basements or back alleys,” the statement read.

Watch clips of the episode here.

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