PROVO — A planned television broadcast of a presentation by an Orem therapist who says sexual orientation can be changed has been canceled.

Brigham Young University has opted to pull psychotherapist Jeff Robinson's taped presentation from the list of shows scheduled to air on BYU-TV on Thursday.

Carri Jenkins, BYU's spokeswoman, said station officials "elected not to air the program out of concern that it might provide an oversimplification of a complex issue."

Robinson's presentation, which would have aired again on KBYU on Feb. 23 and again on BYU-TV in April, were taped by BYU camera crews during a "Families Under Fire" conference at BYU last year.

Robinson, during his presentation, says gay men can develop feelings and desires for women through counseling. He likens same-sex attraction to a "serious addiction."

"But if a person is really motivated and wants that, change is absolutely possible," says Robinson.

Officials at Utah gay advocacy groups denounce Robinson's ideas.

It's no more possible to turn a gay man straight than it is to turn a straight man gay, said Michael Mitchell, executive director of Unity Utah, a gay-lesbian political action committee.

"It's offensive," said Mitchell. "Is he saying that all sexuality is an addiction? Is he saying that heterosexuality also can be changed? If you put the shoe on the other foot, you see how offensive that is."

And, Mitchell asks, why would gay men and women need to change, considering that homosexuality has not been considered a disorder by major U.S. psychotherapist organizations for 25 years.

The National Association of Social Workers also has issued statements against the use of reparative and conversion therapies with lesbian and gay clients.

"God loves us exactly how we are," Mitchell said. "We have families, we go to church, we pay taxes, we do all the things that non-gay people do."


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