California Ex-Gay Advocates: Junk Science Therapy Has ‘At Least Over 80 Percent’ Success

The Pacific Justice Institute, a California-based Christian legal defense organization, has partnered with groups that promote ex-gay therapy like NARTH to oppose a California bill that would limit how the dangerous treatment could be provided in the state. In an interview on Friday, the Institute’s Brad Dacus told talk show host Janet Meffered that discredited ex-gay therapist Joseph Nicolosi has been effective in over 80 percent of cases, arguing that homosexuality is a “path of death and destruction”:

MEFFERD: Brad, is there overwhelming evidence that reparative therapy is a fraud?

DACUS: Actually it’s contrary, there’s overwhelming evidence that reparative therapy actually works. It’s not 100% because you have individual will and every person has their own issues. But Dr. [Joseph] Nicolosi and other famous psychiatrists who have treated this, thousands and thousands of patients, report a very high success rate, I know it’s at least over 80 percent, I believe it’s 80–85 percent success rate. These are people who leave the lifestyle, get married to people, have children, and enter heterosexual relationships. It’s a big mass of deception that they are trying to carry out at the expense of many hundreds of thousands or millions of youths who will be led down a path of death and destruction, unfortunately, if they get away with this.

Listen to it:

Dacus, an attorney, went on to explain that “the homosexual lifestyle gives…boys an average lifespan of the age of 40” and is “worse than being a chain cigarette smoker.” He also suggested that being gay is the consequence of sexual abuse or poor bonding with their father.


Equating homosexuality with “death and destruction” presents a hefty bias to Dacus’ other claims, and it’s unsurprising that his “evidence” carries no weight. When the American Psychological Association resolved that ex-gay therapy is ineffective and harmful, it was only after a systematic review of the available literature. One of the most prominent studies used to support ex-gay therapy was just disavowed by its primary researcher, who apologized to the gay community for promoting its faulty results. Even anti-gay researchers at Pat Robertson’s Regent University admitted in their research that the “ex-gays” they studied who were now in opposite-sex marriages still had the same same-sex orientation as before their therapy.

There is no data to support any claim of sexual orientation change success, let alone 80–85 percent. Such “results” are likely hearsay from Nicolosi himself, who is probably afraid that the California legislation will impede his ability to continue profiting off of internalized anti-gay stigma.