Truth Wins Out Responds to the Sexual Assault Conviction of 'Ex-Gay' Leader Christopher Austin

'Ex-Gay' Therapy Is Dangerous And Puts Vulnerable People At Risk, Says

Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen

Sep 05, 2007, 01:00 ET from Truth Wins Out

    NEW YORK, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Truth Wins Out expressed
 relief today that Christopher Austin, an "ex-gay" counselor in Irving,
 Texas, was convicted of sexually assaulting a client. Austin was sentenced
 to 10 years in prison, but received seven years probation, had to register
 as a sex offender and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine. After years of
 reported abuse - including several alleged victims who testified at the
 trial - it is welcome news that Austin has finally been put out of
 business, says TWO.
     "We are deeply gratified that this 'ex-gay' predator is no longer in
 the counseling business, where he exploited his position of authority to
 sexually abuse vulnerable clients," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of
 Truth Wins Out. "Ex-gay therapy is extremely dangerous and places confused
 clients in the hands of repressed therapists. It is a recipe for disaster."
     According to the 283rd Criminal District Court, a jury convicted Austin
 of a Second Degree felony. Court documents said that the ex-gay leader,
 "unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly caused penetration of [pseudonym
 Stephen Trask]."
     Austin had started Renew Ministries, a counseling center run out of a
 church in Irving. He was affiliated with the National Association For
 Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Indeed, Austin taught a
 seminar at NARTH's 2004 annual convention entitled, "Understanding and
 Treating Compulsive Sexual Behavior in Men with Value-Incongruent
 Homosexual Issues: A Multidimensional Approach."
     Austin spoke of the "devastating spiritual effects homosexuality has on
 a man's heart." However, he failed to take his own advice when he once
 wrote, "Before addressing the brokenness in others, we must defeat all the
 responses of our own flesh."
     "As we have seen with Christopher Austin, Mark Foley and Larry Craig,
 gay people who do not learn to accept themselves act out in unhealthy
 ways," said Besen. "I hope Austin can use this experience to come out and
 have healthy gay relationships, so he won't have to exploit other people."
     Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that counters right wing
 propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.
 For more information, visit

SOURCE Truth Wins Out