Maddow Covers The Demise Of The Ex-Gay Movement

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"Maddow Covers The Demise Of The Ex-Gay Movement"

Robert Spitzer

Rachel Maddow traced the mainstreaming of the ex-gay movement on her MSNBC show last night — from its rise in 1973 in defiance of the American Psychiatric Association’s decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness, to the influential 2001 study by Robert Spitzer, who found that some gay people could change their sexual orientation. Spitzer’s findings bolstered the ex-gay movement, since he had led the charge to rewrite the definition of homosexuality in 1973, and helped advocates find acceptance in the heart of conservative anti-gay politics.

But last week, the 80-year-old scientist dealt a devastating blow to his loudest proponents. In an interview with The American Prospect, Spitzer retracted his own ex-gay study, noting that “The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.” Watch Maddow explain the history of reparative therapy and her interview with Gabriel Arana, the reporter who broke the story:

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