Ex-gay group demands ex-gay therapy at Virginia Universities

Published: Oct. 18, 2013 at 2:52 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2013 at 3:10 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Should Virginia universities offer counseling for those who say they're gay, but don't want to be? It's a point-of-view, one group says exists.

The group, Voice of the Voiceless, has reached out to universities across Virginia demanding they offer ex-gay therapy.

The group's president says there are young people in the LGBTQ community who wants to change and need the proper guidance.

Christopher Doyle is the president of Voice of the Voiceless and says people can change their sexual orientation, if they wanted to.

His advocacy group defends those with unwanted same sex attractions, like himself who was once gay  but is now married to a woman and with three kids.

"The problem that I experienced there is there is just no information for a person in my shoes, a person that was religious or Christian, that had unwanted same sex attractions and didn't want to live a gay life, really had no resources," said Doyle.

His group has reached out to 6 commonwealth universities demanding they offer ex-gay therapy.

He claims he went undercover and found no guidance for those like him and calls it viewpoint discrimination.

"Science says some people aren't simply born homosexual, some people can and do experience change, and I'm one of those people," said Doyle.

Problem is local psychologist, Lisa Griffin, says this idea of ex-gay therapy doesn't work.

"When it appears as though one has successfully changed their sexual orientation, when you really examine what happened, what you will see is that they changed their behavior," said Griffin.

She says the process can actually do more harm.

"They create shame, depression, likely hood that they created suicideality," said Griffin.

So while some say 'you are born this way', Doyle argues 'not everyone'.

"I do exist, people like myself do exist and we have a right to seek therapeutic services," said Doyle.

Doyle says he's ready to file a lawsuit based on viewpoint discrimination if the universities like VCU and UVA don't follow his demands.

He's given the universities until October 25th to respond, so we'll have to see what happens next.

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