A group founded by a Republican lawmaker and his “former homosexual” friend has purchased a billboard in Elk River that urges gay men to seek therapy to change them from gay to straight.
The Pro-Family Forum placed the billboard last week. The group was founded by Republican Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen and “former homosexual” Kevin Peterson as the Pro-Amendment Forum in 2012 to urge people to vote for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. (In 2013, Gruenhagen announced his “former homosexual” friend on the floor of the Minnesota House as that body was taking up marriage equality).
The billboard, placed by the Pro-Family Forum, reads: “Does having gay feelings mean you’re born Gay?… …People around the world say no.” Focused therapy, reparative therapy, real transformation. Real therapy really works. ReparativeTherapyCenter.com”
Here’s a Facebook image of the billboard:
ReparativeTherapyCenter.com autodirects to the website of David Pickup, a California-based practitioner of conversion therapy. Pickup’s therapy suggests that gay men need to be more masculine and get involved in sports in order to get on the path to being straight. Pickup has even created his own “ex-gay” workout routine.
The billboard is almost identical to one placed in Dallas in January. The company that hosted the billboard canceled the contract after finding the billboard to be offensive.
It is unclear which billboard company is hosting the Pro-Family Forum billboard.
The billboard comes as a pair of bills have been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature to add sanctions against licensed professionals who practice conversion therapy. Critics of such therapy not that most professional organizations have spoken out about the harms of conversion therapy.