Billboard company apologises for reparative therapy advert

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Texas advertising company have apologised for a displaying a billboard for gay conversion therapy and promised to take it down.

The billboard in Dallas read “Reparative Therapy” and “Real therapy, really works”. Conversion therapy to change a person’s sexuality is almost universally agreed by healthcare professionals to be dangarous, unethical and damaging.

The billboard was put up by Impact Outdoor Advertsing, a small business run by Terry Kafka. He said he had not been aware of what ‘reparative therapy’ meant when agreeing to host the advert, thinking it was for couples therapy. He told ThinkProgress that when told the real meaning, he found it “repulsive to me personally. If we had known, we wouldn’t have put it up in the first place.”

The billboard advertises the clinic of David Pickup, an advocate of ex-gay therapy who has campaigned against banning such therapy for children. He believes homosexuality is caused in childhood and can be changed by encouraging friendships with men.

A previous US billboard advocating ex-gay therapy claimed to feature identical twins, one of whom was gay and the other not, thereby “proving” being gay is not innate. However, the “twins” were actually one man, who is gay.

UK health organisations last week published a memorandum on rejecting conversion therapy.