Tonight, CNN aired the second part of ‘The Sissy Boy Experiment,’ a series examining the effects of a government-funded gender-normalizing therapy on a 5-year old gay boy named Kirk Murphy in 1970. Kirk’s family believes that the dangerous therapy, which required Kirk’s father to beat him for displaying feminine behavior, contributed to Kirk’s suicide at the age of 38 and they blame George Rekers — the now disgraced co-founder of the Family Research Council who took part in Kirk’s treatment — for his death.
Watch as CNN confronts Rekers with the family’s allegation and his reaction to the news that Kirk had committed suicide:
REPORTER: They say the therapy you did as a child led to his suicide as an adult. what do you say about that?
REKERS: I didn’t know that. That’s too bad.
REPORTER: You’re not aware of the suicide?
REPORTER: What do you say if the family said that your therapy led to his suicide?
REKERS: Well, I think scientifically, that would be inaccurate to assume that it was the therapy. But I do grieve for the parents now that you’ve told me that news. I think that’s very sad.
Unfortunately, conservative Christian groups are still touting Rekers’ experiments as evidence that gay people can become straight. This weekend, the group Exodus International — the largest umbrella group for ex-gay ministries — is hosting a conference aimed at convincing young children and their families that they can reverse their sexual orientation. You can read Zack Ford’s takedown of the conference’s various workshops and panels here.