Says Anthony Falzarano is Guilty of False Pretenses
‘Ex-Gay’ Study’s Author, Robert Spitzer, Joins Zealots
Compiled by GayToday
Washington, D.C.- The Catholic University of America has cancelled a major "ex-gay" conference, hosted by Parents and Friends Ministries, after the university accused ministry Director Anthony Falzarano of applying for use of school facilities under "false pretenses."
"The 'ex-gay' ministries are all about false pretenses so no one should have been surprised by Falzarano's deceptive and misleading behavior," said Human Rights Campaign Associate Director of Communications Wayne Besen.
"This is just the latest in a series of scandals and embarrassments that have further undermined the credibility of the 'ex-gay' ministries in the past year."
Parents and Friends Ministries was scheduled to kick-off a three day "Healing for the Homosexual" conference at CUA. But the group's plans were derailed after the university accused Falzarano of misleading them.
According to the Washington Times, CUA spokesman Victor Nakas said Falzarano misrepresented the intent of the conference in newspaper ads--giving the impression it would deal with ministering to victims of child abuse - when he signed the contract April 3.
"We do not rent space when people come to us under false pretenses," Nakas said in the Times article. "When we found out the purpose of the conference was different than he had applied for, we contacted him on May 17. We do not rent space to people who misrepresent themselves. If the conference had been described to us as it was in the ad, it'd be a completely different story."
According to Parents and Friends literature, Dr. Robert Spitzer was also to have spoken at the conference. Spitzer recently made national news by releasing a study that claimed some "highly motivated" gay people could change sexual orientation.
The study was widely criticized as unscientific and biased because Spitzer used a sample that included anti-gay activists, including Falzarano, that was supplied, in-part, by the "ex-gay" ministries.
After gay advocates, including the Human Rights Campaign, complained about Spitzer's planned presence at the right-wing conference, he backed out.
"I just felt that my study would not be evaluated dispassionately if I appeared at a Christian Right-sponsored meeting," Spitzer said in today's Times article. "That's what the gay press has been saying. It is important for me to be perceived as a nonpolitical scientist."
Yet, Spitzer is scheduled to appear today on a Focus on the Family radio program, hosted by the group's leader James Dobson. Spitzer has also appeared on the show's promotional material including a press release sent out today titled: "Columbia University Psychiatrist Joins Dr. James C. Dobson on Broadcast to Say, 'Homosexuals Can Change'; Study Defies the Myth That Gays Can't Change.
"This study defies the politically correct notion that once you are a homosexual--you can't change," said Spitzer in Focus on the Family's press release.
What's disturbing, according to HRC, is that Spitzer's comments to Focus on the Family were markedly different in tone than a statement he recently gave to HRC distancing himself from the political right-wing.
"It would be a mistake to interpret the study as implying that any highly motivated homosexual could change if they really were motivated to do so," said Spitzer in his May 16 e-mail statement. "I suspect that the vast majority of gay people--even if they wanted to--would be unable to make the substantial changes in sexual attraction and fantasy and enjoyment of heterosexual functioning that many of my subjects reported."
"Spitzer's proclivity to appear with anti-gay political activists further erodes his credibility and ads to the legitimate criticism that his study was unscientific and biased," said Besen. "Furthermore, his contradictory statements and actions continue to jeopardize his reputation and standing in the scientific community."