ABC News Uncovers Hundreds Of Christian ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ Teen Camps Operating In The US

On tonight’s edition of 20/20, the ABC News program will look into anti-gay ‘conversion therapy’ camps run by pastors and preachers, said to number in the hundreds in the United States. These places, denounced by experts as being emotionally damaging, use “the Bible and sometimes the belt” to try to make gay or bisexual children straight.

During today’s episode of Good Morning America, Brian Ross previewed his coverage. An ABC News report states the “investigation found a cottage industry of so-called conversion camps operating across the country.”

“Christian ministries or camps, where gay teens are sent by parents who want their children to change their sexuality,” described Ross.

One pastor who charges $21,000 a year to “deal with teenagers who consider themselves gay” says parents have actually given him written consent to hit their children if they “act up.”

20/20 also interviewed Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, a supporter of conversion therapy.

“I certainly hope that this administration will pull back from some of the aggressive activism that the Obama administration engaged in,” says Sprigg.

Sprigg’s hopes aren’t unfounded given V.P. Mike Pence’s advocacy of redirecting resources “toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior” on his congressional campaign website in 2000.

You can watch the preview below.

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20/20 airs tonight at 10pm EST.