Have you followed the sad, predictable story of John Paulk?
Back in the 1990s, John and his wife, Anne, made a name for themselves on the ex-gay circuit: They were both, they claimed, cured of their homosexuality and living a happy hetero life together. John ran Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out conference and was chairman of Exodus International. An “ex-gay” poster boy, appeared on Oprah and Good Morning America and graced the cover of Newsweek (right).
Of course, John’s happy hetero life just happened to involve trips to gay bars: In 2000, he was photographed by then-HRC spokesman Wayne Besen at Mr. P’s, a notorious Washington, DC hustler bar. Excuses and evasions followed but eventually John Paulk admitted that he’d had a “lapse.”
He maintained, though, that he was still totally straight, bro.
And that’s pretty much where the story left off—at least until now: John and Anne moved to Portland, Oregon, and opened a restaurant business. But they continued to participate in the ex-gay movement. And John, according to Besen—now head of Truth Wins Out—kept introducing himself to attractive young men. He also allegedly changed his Facebook status to indicate he likes “men and women.”
Besen released the results of an extensive investigation into 49-year-old John’s private life, complete with interviews with paramours and screengrabs of salacious texts.
“He came in and wanted to do all kinds of things to me,” said Michael Phillips, a bartender at Silverado, the local strip club in downtown Portland. “Um, he wanted to date, he wanted to have sex, he wanted to give me a blowjob in the bathroom, he wanted to give me money, he wanted to do all kinds of stuff.”
What dangers does the ex-gay movement pose to impressionable youth? Exhibit A, your honor.