FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 8, 1998
Contact: John Aravosis, 202/328-5707,
Paulk case raises questions about credibility of other ex-gay stories, activists say

In a previously forgotten Wall Street Journal interview, the nation's most prominent "ex-gay", John Paulk, admitted to not being 100% cured of his homosexuality even though he was already married to a woman. In light of recent questions raised by Time magazine about whether Paulk's wife was ever a lesbian at all, many are now asking if the ex-gay house of cards is starting to crumble.

On April 21, 1993, John Paulk -- who recently appeared on the cover of Newsweek with his "ex-lesbian" wife Anne -- admitted to the Wall Street Journal that his new-found straight orientation was not as intense as that of the "average man on the street." Paulk confessed that he was unsure he would ever have the "intensity for sex with women" that most straight men have.

In the same interview, Paulk also put cold water on the notion that he and his wife were yet cured of their gay orientations: "To say that we've arrived at this place of total heterosexuality - that we're totally healed - is misleading," Paulk told the Journal.

Time magazine added further fuel to the Paulk credibility fire. On July 27, 1998, the magazine reported being unable to find even one former girlfriend of the supposedly former-lesbian Anne Paulk. Mrs. Paulk refused to offer the name of a single lesbian lover. In addition, Time reports that Paulk "conceded that her ties to women in college were 'more emotional than sexual.'"

Advocates questioned the Paulks' story. "We don't know if he's still gay, or whether she was ever really a lesbian. A lot of people are wondering whether the Paulks are ex-gays after all," said John Aravosis, an online advocate who has been following the ex-gay issue.

Even more troubling is the revelation that while already married, John Paulk admitted that neither he nor his wife were yet "totally heterosexual." "In the past, the ex-gay movement had no problem putting forth people who seemed to be straight, but in fact admitted the opposite. How many other married ex-gays will concede to not really being heterosexual only when posed the right question," Aravosis asked.

Aravosis said the new revelations about the Paulks raise the following troubling questions:

1) In 1993, after the Paulks were already married, John Paulk said neither he nor his wife was "totally healed" of their gay orientations. Are they both totally healed now? Are they both "totally heterosexual"?

2) How many of the 800 ex-gays pictured in the recent full-page newspaper ads are also not totally healed?

3) Does John Paulk still not have "the intensity for sex with women" of the "average man on the street"?

4) Does John Paulk still have any sexual attraction to men at all?

5) Did Anne Paulk ever have sex with a woman? If so, will she name even one woman?

6) Did Anne Paulk ever have a sexual attraction to women, and does she still?

7) How often do the Paulks have sex?

8) Is the Paulks' child conceived naturally, through artificial means, or by adoption?

"It's telling that militant fundamentalists keep recycling the same ex- gay stories year after year'" said Aravosis. "If the Paulks are the best the radical right has to offer, it's not clear there are any ex-gays out there at all."

Wired Strategies is a political Internet consulting firm, based in Washington, DC, and specializing in public policy Internet strategies for the government, nonprofit and private sectors.


John Aravosis, Wired Strategies - Online Advocacy Consulting, Washington, DC
202/328-5707 tel.; 202/328-5708 fax


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