A virulently anti-gay, "ex-gay" group is misusing scientific research to blast its Christmas hate message on a busy highway billboard.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), a group that promotes false and harmful "ex-gay therapy," has leased a billboard by a busy Richmond, Virginia highway to spread its Christmas message. "Nobody is born gay," says the billboard drivers on I-95 can easily read. It suggests that "identical twins" are identical in every way. "One gay, one not. Nobody is born gay."
But do they know their interpretation of science is incorrect? The billboard also states, "We believe twins research science shows nobody is born gay."
Like climate change deniers and creationists, PFOX apparently "believes" that there's room for interpretation and "belief" in actual science.
On its Facebook page, PFOX claims it "exists to educate, support, and advocate for individuals and parents on the issue of same-sex attraction, and increase others' understanding and acceptance of the ex-gay community."
A 2008 Scientific American article reviewed a study on identical twins, noting that "experience shows that identical twins are rarely completely the same. Until recently, any differences between twins had largely been attributed to environmental influences (otherwise known as "nurture"), but a recent study contradicts that belief."
The Huffington Post notes that on PFOX's "website, the group cites two studies purportedly denying the existence of a 'gay gene,' one of which was conducted in 2000 with participants who were twins. (LGBTQ Nation pointed out this interpretation of the 2000 study has been disputed by the study's main researcher.)"
Science aside for the moment, the very real issue now is that an entire community has to endure unscientific hate speech during the Christmas season. Young people, especially, are easily influenced by these anti-gay messages that can bring not hope, but despair.
"What we do know is that this type of therapy has caused many people to commit suicide," Bill Harrison with the Richmond Gay Community told NBC12/WWBT.
Image: Screenshot via NBC12/WWBT
See a mistake? Email corrections to: [email protected]