LaBarbera: Michael Sam is a 'Bad Role Model,' Should Become an 'Ex-Gay'

by Bobby McGuire
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Jul 9, 2014

Peter LaBarbera, head of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designated anti-gay hate group Americans for the Truth About Homosexuality (ATFAH) once again lifted his voice to the chorus of anti-gay conservatives that include Bryan Fischer and the Texas GOP who are advocating conversion therapy for openly gay NFL rookie, Michael Sam.

In an open letter to Michael Sam, posted to the ATFAH website Wednesday, LaBarbera berated the All-American defensive lineman for being a bad role model by coming out.

"Michael, do we have to tell you that, especially with your current publicity, you are a role model because of your athletic prowess, but since 'coming out' you are also modeling a lifestyle that the cost for those living it, has been unpublicized but appalling it has for society. The troubling fact is minorities are suffering most and in growing numbers," LaBarbera writes.

The remainder of the letter, which is filled with the kind of misinformation about the LGBT population that has become ATFAH's stock-in-trade, goes on to suggest that Sam seek out ex-gay therapy.

"Believe it or not, no one is born 'gay,'" LaBarbera writes. "Molestation, emotional deprivation, parental or peer rejection, or other traumatic factors can foster same-sex attraction-but many men and women have managed it, diminished it, or eliminated it altogether. [See these heartwarmingex-"gay" testimonies.] Many accomplished this through Reparative Therapy and counseling, despite the relentless, unwarranted condemnation of and campaign against both by self-serving "gay" activists."

Today's letter isn't the first time the anti-gay activist has suggested reparative therapy for Sam. Shortly after Sam came out publicly in February, LaBabera slammed the All-American during an interview on Voice of Christian Youth (VCY) America Radio, saying that Sam was deluded and should "become an ex-homosexual."

In May, when Sam kissed his his boyfriend Vito Cammisano's on ESPN after learning he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, LaBarbera once again took to VCY's airwaves to express his disdain that conservative outlets like Fox News and News Max "reported the kiss without giving the other side of people who would voice disapproval of people being forced through the media to witness these 'homosexual acts.'"

A call-out box on the ATFAH website that features a photo Sam and his boyfriend Vito Cammisano's famed ESPN televised kiss with the word "wrong" covering their locked lips has been on the site's homepage since May. It has the following text:

AFTAH blocks homosexual kisses because they are indecent. God never intended men to be sexual with other men, nor women with women. This fundamental reality is confirmed by Nature, which clearly discriminates against homosexual conduct (intercourse between two people of the same sex cannot produce life). Michael Sam is doing a great disservice to young people by promoting the idea that immoral and destructive homosexual behavior is natural and acceptable. Pray for Michael Sam that he will one day join the many men and women who have left homosexuality behind.

LaBarbera's bromance/crush-like obsession with talking about Sam on the radio and writing him open letters, makes one think -- for someone who purports disapprove of Michael Sam as much as he says he does, LaBarbera sure does appear to pay him a lot of attention.

To quote Shakespeare, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."


  • ThomCab, 2014-07-11 17:00:43

    If this anti gay therapy really works, what are the ratio facts? is it 5%, 10%. From reading about those therapy groups, it is a very narrow margin, that they rarely work. Most people, especially teens are feeling worthless and commit suicide. I guess you heard the old cliché, "Once gay, always gay" The scenario of one or both parents, not present in my formative years does not apply in my case. I was not molested as a child, that does not apply. I had a very happy childhood coming up. I played boy games like baseball, basketball. I did not like football or boxing, but I did like wrestling. Even straight guys don’t like ball games. They even cook for their wives. Role models does not have anything to do whether a person is gay or straight. I had a brother who was raised under the same conditions and same environment, who got the same punishments as I and he was straight as they come. We can’t prove we were born gay but no one can prove we were not.

  • Wayne M., 2014-07-11 22:01:05

    LeBarbera needs to start actually being honest for once. He knows full well that while people can suppress their sexual and pretend to be heterosexual, they cannot change their sexual orientation. He only needs to consider those previous poster boys and girls for the so-called ex-Gay movement and he will see how many of them later had to admit they were still Gay men and Lesbians. Now, LeBarbera’s organization "Americans for (not telling the) Truth About Homosexuality" regards two loving men kissing as indecent. In a nation where a man just murdered 6 people - a loving family - and where people feel gun ownership is a right not earned by showing responsibility, perhaps he needs to revise what he considers decent or indecent. As for Michael Sam, we need more men like him and he is a true hero for all youth who want to live honest and open lives.

  • GAG'EM, 2014-07-11 23:09:05

    Wayne: You clearly have some interesting and articulate things to say. I really wish you’d write them in a forum where you might influence people who need to be informed and might have their prejudices challenged, instead of continuing to preach to a handful of gay men who fully understand the issues and already agree with you.

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