Ex-Gay Group Calls Public Universities 'Unsafe Zones' for Students Seeking Sexual Orientation Change Therapy

An ex-gay group has recently released a report on various Virginia academic institutes, dubbing them "unsafe zones" for students seeking sexual orientation change therapy.

Voice of the Voiceless announced the release of a report earlier this week, titled "Campus Climate Report: Virginia University LGBTQ Resource Centers an 'Unsafe Zone' for Students with Unwanted Same-Sex Attractions."

The 86-page report is based off of the research of VoV President and Co-Founder Christopher Doyle and includes information on the LGBT resource centers of seven major Virginia universities, which Doyle argued were biased against students seeking sexual orientation change efforts therapy.

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In an interview with The Christian Post, Doyle asserted that, "As Christians, we don't send our children to college to be indoctrinated. We send them to be exposed to a number of different views to help educate them, and then merge that information to strengthen their identity in Christ."

"From what we witnessed (and recorded), these LGBTQ resource centers were hostile to those embracing a traditional biblical worldview on sexuality, and you are paying for it," he said.

The seven academic institutes examined in the report include: the University of Virginia, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Old Dominion University, Christopher Newport University, the College of William and Mary and George Mason University.

"By forming an LGBTQ resource center and/or safe zone, Virginia universities have established a limited public forum for the purpose of providing non-university resources for issues surrounding sexual orientation," reads the report in part.

"In addition to inaccurate statements about the legality, efficacy, potential harm and ethicality of SOCE therapy, LGBTQ resource center counselors and administrators also made a number of common misstatements about the nature of SOCE therapy, ex-gay organizations and religious ministries, as well as the etiology of homosexuality."

Doyle said he believes the source of this apparent bias is "the belief by some in the LGBT community that individuals are born with same-sex attraction."

"The intolerance of alternative views and experiences of homosexuality on Virginia university campuses is a microcosm of our educational system and overall culture's inability to think critically on this issue," said Doyle. "We are now at the point in our society where if someone says homosexual feelings can change, even if just for some individuals, it's intolerable and offensive."

Doyle also told CP that if "LGBTQ resource centers in Virginia were truly tolerant, they would welcome all views and allow students to decide for themselves what was best."

"Universities are supposed to cultivate critical thinking, but this type of climate on Virginia campuses only fosters stereotypes and group think. Why? Because of fear, and fear is at the root of totalitarianism. People stop asking questions and engage in open debate because their viewpoint has been deemed unacceptable, and they are punished for it," he added.

Data for the report came when Doyle and an associate went undercover pretending to be graduate students seeking help with unwanted same-sex attraction at the various LGBT resource centers at the aforementioned universities.

Regarding their claim of viewpoint discrimination, VoV enlisted the help of the conservative legal group the Liberty Counsel.

As to the current status of their efforts, Doyle told CP that while he could not comment on specifics, he could say that things have gotten harder since the recent election of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring in 2013.

"Before the new Attorney General in Virginia came into office in January, some of the universities were more agreeable to make reforms in their LGBTQ resource centers. After the new year, however, progress stalled," said Doyle.

Herring made headlines months back for refusing to legally defend Virginia's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in district court.

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