''I think they should keep this bill -- AD50 in California -- for two reasons. One, it says lets do research why sexual predators abuse children. And I am a survivor of sexual abuse. So to do reasearch to find out why predators do this is excellent. Secondly, it says let's do research on the causes and the healing of homosexuality. Now, we know that there's people who want to live a homosexual life, and there's those who wish to seek change and come out straight. That's been my journey. And as a psychotherapist, I've literally helped thousands of men and women around the world change from homosexual to heterosexual. So I think this is fantastic that California has this code... I'm living proof that change is possible.''
Richard Cohen debating California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal on a state law from 1950 that mandates that health experts in California direct homosexual patients to seek a cure. Cohen has said he is an unlicensed practitioner yet describes himself as a "professional" and a "psychotherapist." (CNN via YouTube)
Richard Cohen admitted to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in December 2009 that he holds no state-issued license to perform his so-called "therapy." And during her interview, she drew strong ties between Cohen's books and the pending ''kill the gays'' bill that is still working its way through the government of Uganda. For whatever reason, news programs (and even entertainment shows, like Jimmy Kimmel's) continually book Cohen so that he may espouse his nonsense theories, often with little or no challenges to his statements, as if he is an actual expert with reliable opinions.
''I would like to take a moment to address many of you who e-mailed me about our Tuesday segment on this topic. Personally, I thought the absurd nature of the California law we discussed would speak for itself, but unfortunately, not everyone saw it that way.
''Richard Cohen was not the most appropriate guest to have on, but it is a decision we made, and the result is a continuation of our discussion today. That is what journalism is all about. And we will continue to do our best to discuss gay and lesbian issues in a fair way on this program.
''I wish that all of you knew my heart. And as a journalist with a long track record of covering gay and lesbian issues, I wish that those of you who sent me vicious e-mails watched my newscasts more often because, if they did, they would not have been so quick to send such hateful messages. They don't know my record, and my unswerving support for all communities in the battle for human rights, including gays, lesbians and transgender individuals.
''And to make it perfectly clear, I love debating issues -- it evokes passion. But if we cannot treat each other in a civil manner even when we disagree, then we will never move forward, and have a world where all people are treated with the respect that they deserve.''
Kyra Phillips of CNN making more of a defensive argument than an apology about her network's airing of an "ex-gay therapist" named Richard Cohen. Unfortunately, the CNN anchor gave way too much air time to Cohen without challenging his claims or pointing out the fact that he has admitted he has no state-issued therapy license. GLAAD apparently took notice and promoted one of their "Call to Action" notices, which possibly contributed to the messages Phillips says she received. (CNN via Turner.com)