Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By John Jalsevac

3/11/2008 (6 years ago)

LifeSiteNews (www.lifesitenews.com)

"What many who are struggling with homosexuality don't realize, and seldom hear, is that they can change. I should know - for 13 years, I used to be one."

Highlights

By John Jalsevac

LifeSiteNews (www.lifesitenews.com)

3/11/2008 (6 years ago)

Published in Americas


SUDBURY, ON (LifeSiteNews) - Canadian Television (CTV) has pulled an ad that claims it is possible to leave the homosexual lifestyle, sponsored by a Christian advocacy group, Life Productions, after the station received numerous complaints from pro-homosexual activists.

The 30-second spot is narrated by John Westcott, the founder of Exchange ministries, an organization that seeks to help practicing homosexuals who wish to leave the lifestyle. Westcott is himself a former homosexual, as is his wife Amanda.

"You hear a lot about gay rights, gay marriage and the gay lifestyle being taught in our public schools for children," says Westcott in the ad, "but what many people don't realize, and seldom hear, is that many homosexuals don't want to be homosexual.

What many who are struggling with homosexuality don't realize, and seldom hear, is that they can change. I should know - for 13 years, I used to be one." Wescott then walks off the camera and an announcer says, "This message has been brought to you by Life Productions."

The ad ran for three days on a local CTV station in Sudbury Ontario, before it was pulled on March 3. Life Productions had intended to run the ad locally for an entire year.

Pro-Homosexual advocates, however, were enraged by the ad, calling it "hate" material, and deluged the television station and Life Productions with letters of complaint. A Facebook group against the ad was set up, entitled "Appalled with CTV Commercial - Homosexuality Cure??"

Dr. Joel Dickinson, a faculty member at Laurentian University, led the charge, setting up and acting as an officer of the Facebook group, and corresponding with CTV personnel. LifeSiteNews.com attempted to interview Dr. Dickinson, but she responded that she was unable to fit the interview into her schedule.

At the time of the writing of this article, the facebook group had 1,172 members.

On March 6, Dickenson received a letter from CTV's Vice-President of Public Affairs, Sarah Crawford. Crawford apologized to Dickenson on behalf of CTV, saying that the fact that the ad was ever aired was a result of "human error."

"I assure you," said Crawford, "that had CTV known the content of the ad, it would not have gone to air." Crawford told Dickenson that the ad had been screened by Telecaster Services, the voluntary, self-governing, commercial, infomercial and public service announcement (PSA) clearance committee that is required to review all ads in Canada prior to airing. Telecaster had approved the ad, although it had "flagged" it and given it a "mature" rating, thereby ensuring that it could not be aired prior to 9:00pm.

Crawford said that CTV failed to notice the "flag" on the ad, and did not review its content. "As a result, CTV Sudbury scheduled the ad without knowing that it contained problematic material that is inappropriate and unacceptable for our stations. The ad went to air, and consequently we received some complaints. Station personnel then reviewed the ad, deemed it inappropriate for telecast and immediately pulled it off the air."

Other than a general statement that CTV does not promote discrimination and is in favor of diversity, Crawford did not explicitly state what the "problematic" or "discriminatory" part of the ad was, nor what required that it be rated "mature."

"It is our corporate policy not to air advocacy ads of this nature," concluded Crawford. "Moreover, CTV television stations do not condone, promote or engage in discrimination against anyone based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or physical or mental disability. We have a proud history of promoting diversity and building bridges of understanding between cultures both within our company and the communities in which we operate."

Scott Henderson, CTV's vice-president of communications, also responded to complaints about the ad, saying, "We did try to act as quickly as possible on this. It was something that was taken very seriously at the highest levels of CTV. It's completely against all of our own codes."

LifeSiteNews.com spoke to the director of Life Productions, Jason Johns, about the ad. He expressed his disappointment that the ad was pulled, especially on charges of "discrimination" or "hate".

"The commercial doesn't promote hate. It doesn't promote discrimination. It promotes knowledge, and information," Johns told LifeSiteNews. "And in no way did we attack the pro-gay advocates. What we were doing was reaching out to, and educating people that there is a community of people who practice homosexuality that are not interested in practicing homosexuality, in that they want help."

The idea that homosexuality is an inborn condition is one of the central doctrines of the pro-homosexual movement. However, there has been no scientific evidence to support this theory, and, Johns pointed out, the fact that there are hosts of men and women, such as John Westcott and his wife, claiming to be former homosexuals offers concrete evidence that homosexuality can, indeed, be treated.

Johns argued that it is ironic that CTV cited "discrimination" as the reason that the ad was pulled, since in pulling the ad CTV in fact discriminated both against Life Productions, and against those homosexuals who wish to leave the lifestyle, by revoking their freedom of speech.

"What about these people who want help, who the commercial was actually for?" he said. "I'm concerned about our freedom of speech as well. But we're not necessarily in the same position that these people who want help, and who are really hurting, and who are struggling with this, and who are reaching out for help. If our freedom of speech is jeopardized, if it's taken away, then who can advocate for these people? According to the pro-gay activists, no one is allowed to advocate for them. And I think that that's where the real dictatorship and discrimination comes in."

Johns also said that it is ironic that his group is being convinced of hatred. "They accuse us of hating, they accuse us of being haters, and discrimination. That's just not true. We retain the e-mails that they do send us, because that's evidence of where the real hatred and where the real discrimination exists," he said.

Johns said that Life Productions has received so much hate mail of such a violent nature from homosexual activists that he is unwilling to disclose the physical location of the organization, since he and others involved in the group are concerned for the safety of their families.

Johns expressed his belief that the violent antipathy towards the idea that homosexuality may be an alterable condition on the part of homosexuals generates a hostile environment for those in the homosexual community who may desire to leave the lifestyle.

"There's a lot of fear and a lot of intimidation imposed by the pro-gay community, that I would think that anyone who claims to be homosexual and wants to get help, I think that in that sort of environment they would not feel comfortable voicing their opinion or their concern because of the response that they would get."

Life Productions' ad, said Johns, was intended simply to encourage those who are dissatisfied with the homosexual lifestyle to seek the help that they desire. Life Productions itself does not perform counseling for homosexuality, but refers homosexuals who desire to be treated to other organizations that perform such counseling.

---

LifeSiteNews.com is a non-profit Internet service dedicated to issues of culture, life, and family. It was launched in September 1997. LifeSiteNews Daily News reports and information pages are used by numerous organizations and publications, educators, professionals and political, religious and life and family organization leaders and grassroots people across North America and internationally.



Comments


More Americas

If you think ISIS is bad, just look at what's going on in Mexico Watch

Image of Those who speak out against the Mexican drug cartels often find themselves attacked, abused, or even murdered.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the world-and especially the United States-remains fixated on the brutal actions and conquests of the Islamic State, few are looking closer to home to see such brutality, sometimes on a larger and more horrifying scale. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Worst drought in years: So Paulo may run out of water by next month Watch

Image of One of the causes of the Brazilian drought crisis may be more than 2,000 kilometers away, in the growing deforested areas in the Amazon region.

By Adriana Brasileiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

South America's biggest and wealthiest city may run out of water by mid-November if it doesn't rain soon. SAO PAULO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - São Paulo, a Brazilian megacity of 20 million people, is suffering its worst drought in at least 80 years, with key ... continue reading


In narrow election, Brazil reelects leftists president Watch

Image of Rousseff had 51.6% of the vote in the run-off election, while her opponent, the center-right Aecio Neves only had 48.4%.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's leftist president, was re-elected on October 26, after one of Brazil's closest election races since it become a democracy about 30 years ago. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rousseff had 51.6% of the vote in the run-off election, while ... continue reading


Ottawa terrorist attack: Lone gunman planned to fight overseas for Islamic State Watch

Image of Corporal Nathan Cirillo was

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Details are beginning to emerge in a terrorist attack in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. Corporal Nathan Cirillo was "murdered in cold blood" as he stood guard at Canada's National War Memorial. The suspected gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was later shot and ... continue reading


BREAKING: Shots fired in Canadian capital, soldier killed by gunman at war memorial Watch

Image of Armed members of Canada's Royal Mounted Police are searching for an unknown number of shooters in Ottawa, Canada's capital.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There have been multiple gunmen and gunshots in Canada's capital of Ottawa, and at least one Canadian service man was shot in what may be-but is unconfirmed-a terrorist attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The shootings occurred just before 10 a.m. ET on ... continue reading


Bermuda buttons down for Hurricane Gonzalo Watch

Image of Bermuda is getting ready to get hit by Hurricane Gonzalo, which is expected to have winds up to 145 miles per hour.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bermuda is set to be hit by a strong storm on October 17, Hurricane Gonzalo, one of the most powerful on record to hit the island. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Schools on the island were closed on October 16, and many residents boarded up the windows of their ... continue reading


Sex trafficking ring that used teenaged girls, boys busted in Colombia Watch

Image of Working out of clandestine sites and massage parlors, the ring frequently used taxi drivers to bring in foreign clients looking for underage sex.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After a lengthy investigation, a joint operation between the United States and Colombia successfully led to 11 arrests across the South American nation in a large sex trafficking ring. The ring used teenaged girls and boys, one victim as young as 11 and kept ... continue reading


Dreaded Juarez drug cartel leader arrested without a shot being fired Watch

Image of Carrillo Fuentes faces a number of charges in the United States. Drug trafficking, conspiracy, money laundering, tampering with a witness and

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Feared and respected, Juarez drug cartel boss Vicente Carrillo Fuentes aided Ciudad Juarez' reputation as one of the most dangerous regions on Earth. Fuentes has now been captured and arrested without a shot being fired. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Man finds kidnapped daughter, missing for 12 years! Watch

Image of Sabrina Allen, seen here in a picture from 2002, was taken by her mother to Mexico for 12 years. She will be reunited with her father who has labored to find her for more than a decade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sabrina Allen, the girl was kidnapped by her mother 12 years ago and taken into Mexico from Texas, is set to be reunited with her father who last saw her when she was five years old. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mexican and U.S. authorities arrested Dara ... continue reading


As Ecuador plans to drill in the Amazon, natives know their time is up Watch

Image of Oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest has caused great destruction of the once fertile and incredibly diverse ecosystem there.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is considered one of the world's most bio-diverse regions. This unique place is inhabited by more than 20 different endangered mammals, and just 2 ½ acres of this patch of Amazon rainforest contains more than 100,000 species of ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 30th, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
October 30: Confessor and Jay brother, also called Alonso. He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter