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Sunday
Jul172011

Exodus Intl. Head Alan Chambers Compares Homosexuality to Obesity

Mario Tama/Getty Images(WINTER PARK, Fla.) -- Undercover videos taken by a gay rights group inside Michele Bachmann's family-owned Christian counseling clinic have sparked a fierce debate over a controversial therapy to turn gay men and women straight.

In an interview with ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross, a leading figure in an "ex-gay" movement claims many evangelical Christians have been able to change their sexual orientation through faith, prayer, and therapy.

"Does counseling help people who are struggling to live through the filter of the faith over their sexuality? It definitely, absolutely does," said Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International. Chambers says that the group's efforts to promote therapy to turn gays away from homosexuality have been unfairly criticized.

"We can look at other organizations who help people dealing with other life struggles. For instance, Weight Watchers, which has tremendously benefited my life. Should we go after Weight Watchers and tell them 'Don't say that there's anything beyond obesity' for people who are struggling with obesity and want an alternative to that?"

Mental health professionals came forward to strongly condemn gay conversion therapy after the undercover videos were first broadcast on ABC News on Monday night. Dr. Jack Drescher says the practice is not only ineffective but could seriously harm patients.

"This so far outside the mainstream it's practically on Mars," said Dr. Jack Drescher, a psychiatrist who has studied the practice of gay conversions. "We don't know what causes homosexuality, we don't know what causes heterosexuality, and since we don't what causes it, we don't know how to change it. There is no science that effectively states [that] this can work, this can change."

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ABC News Radio