On Sunday night, a flyer surfaced on Reddit for an event planned for Nov. 22 at Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-I), which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and was suddenly cancelled after the public caught wind of it.
“Confused about the confusion about same-gender attraction? People can and do overcome same-gender attraction and enjoy rich, full lives with marriage partners of the opposite-sex without regrets,” the flyer promised and then went on to tlak about “an evening of discussion with a professional counselor who has helped many overcome same-gender attraction.”
The so-called “professional counselor” in question is Michael D. Williams whose personal page directs readers to Family Structure Studies, a project of the anti-gay hate group National Organization for Marriage backed Witherspoon Institute. The data usedon that prosuggested that children of same-sex couples are worse off than their peers, comes from an infamous 2012 study by sociology professor Mark Regnerus, which has been widely discredited by academic and medical associations. The study was later disavowed by the editorial board of the very journal in which it was published.
On his “professional blog“, Williams has authored several anti-gay and anti-transgender posts. In one, he refers to Leelah Alcorn—a transgender girl who committed suicide in December 2014, prompting the Obama administration to officially oppose conversion therapy—as a “troubled young man” and also predicted that that the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell will have “dire consequences,” and claims that “[h]omes with same-sex ‘parents’ are remarkably unstable” and that the term “same-sex marriage” is “a misnomer and oxymoron.”
BYU-Idaho spokesperson released a statement saying that the event was planned and subsequently cancelled by a local student congregation, not the university itself and added that. “While this event was originally planned to use a campus classroom, it was not initiated by BYU-Idaho”
Williams released the following statement:
“Due to negative publicity the presentation has been called off.. I regret that the fears of some who’ve experienced repression and bigotry have resulted in others not being allowed to learn alternative viewpoints and options.”
In the 197o’s Brigham Young University used electroshock aversion therapy on gay students.