Montel Williams revisits sexual reorientation

By now, it is no secret. The Montel Williams Show on Thursday, March 15, will devote the whole hour to a show they’ve titled: HOMOSEXUALITY…CAN IT BE CURED? Click the link to read the description of the show. Guests include: Mike Jones, Lance Carroll, Alan Chambers, Richard Cohen, Peterson Toscano, and Dr. Alicia Salzer (the producer of the documentary Abomination: Homosexuality and the Ex-gay Movement). Here is something interesting; Alicia Salzer is the director of Montel’s After-care program. I wonder if she would ever refer someone to a sexual identity therapist?

This episode is generating buzz. I have seen pre-show notices from sources as diverse as Evergreen International, JONAH and Division 44 of the American Psychological Association. Steve Schalchlin has a blog entry describing Mike Jones’ view of his appearance. In contrast to Mike Jones’ view, Elaine Berk of Jonah, who was in the studio audience, said the show was not fair to Alan and those who were there to defend Exodus.

Elaine gave me permission to quote the following:

The taping of the Montel Williams show was last Wednesday. It was quite an upsetting experience, to say the least. I wish each one of you was there – it was high drama.

Montel made fun of reparative therapy the whole time even though the show was supposed to discuss reparative therapy – the show was a set up. FYI, Exodus doesn’t do reparative therapy and that’s what the show was about, so it was ridiculous from the get-go. Montel was out to demean “our side of the story” and did so at every opportunity.

One of the Exodus couples was bumped when they politely protested to Montel that he wasn’t allowing the ex-gays the appropriate amount of time to speak. I give them credit. Montel was floored that this couple had the nerve to dictate to him what they would accept from him. There was a 15 minute delay with producers and production people running out onto the stage as they decided what to do now that this couple was bumped in the middle of the taping.

Alan Chambers of Exodus, the only ex-gay up on the stage with several pro-gay activists, was not feeling well and didn’t respond forcefully to the abuse given out by Montel. I don’t know what happened but Montel pummeled him with words & questions. It was so sad and aggravating to see.

Then, a hero emerged!

All of a sudden Arthur Goldberg was yelling at Montel from the auidence. Arthur yelled something like, “You’re not being fair. You understand what he (Alan Chambers) means, it’s implied in what you read.” Montel was so shocked when Arthur yelled that he was being unfair and misinterpreting what Alan Chambers was saying that Montel didn’t say much back – Montel tried to come back at Arthur but then Arthur yelled again, “This is a civil rights issue and you just don’t understand.”

. . . and then the taping was over.

At that point…no one said anything and everyone was hustled off stage.