Our America with Lisa Ling aired “Pray The Gay Away” on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Tuesday and the gay blogs have been abuzz about the way Ling presented the episode. (Queer Corner’s own blog post on the subject also saw some heated dialogue.)
The episode profiled Alan Chambers, a leader of an ex-gay ministry called Exodus International who used to be gay, but claims he’s a successful product of the ex-gay movement. They basically believe people can pray for God to make them straight while going through a support group program that rids people of homosexuality, much like the “Freedom Conference,” which was featured on the show. Ling also spoke with a 26-year-0ld man named Ethan who was going through the program.
Also featured was a lesbian named Janet Boynes who started her own ex-gay ministry, that includes a young man named Christian, a former drag queen and gay male stripper.
Many thought Ling presented the story as if both sides were equally right, when group’s like the American Psychological Association have gone on record condemning the practices of ex-gay ministries and saying their actually damaging the mental health of their participants.
After the show Oprah’s bestie Gayle King featured the segment “Pray the Gay Away: The Conversation Continues” one her show where she talked with people on both sides of the issue. You can watch a piece of that show below. You can also watch full episodes of both shows HERE.
Did you watch? What do you think? Did Ling get it right?
Our America with Lisa Ling airs 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST on OWN. (Check your local listings.)
P.S. Here’s GLAAD’s official statement on the show. It isn’t good either.
UPDATE (3/13): Truth Wins Out produced a piece that tears apart Ling’s segment flaw by flaw.