After assuring LGBT activists and leaders for two years that a controversial website would be removed from its computer servers, Michigan State University said last week it will continue to host the website of the ex-gay ministry Corduroy Stone.
In an email, David Gift, vice provost for libraries, computing and technology at MSU, told Michigan Messenger that the university’ hands are tied because Mike Jones, who runs the site that promotes therapy as a way to convert gay individuals to a straight lifestyle, is a retired university employee.
Wayne Besen, executive director of the national organization Truth Wins Out, which opposes the ex-gay movement, also called on the university to remove the website:
“Michigan State should cancel Jones’ e-mail address and immediately stop hosting his site. It gives the false impression that the university endorses a dangerous form of therapy that was just condemned by the American Psychological Association.”
Besen is particularly familiar with Corduroy Stone because when he was in Grand Rapids earlier this year to speak at an event at Grand Valley State University aimed at countering the national ex-gay conference held locally. While there, he met Patrick McAlvey, 24, of Lansing, who says he was victimized by Jones and the Corduroy Stone programs. He even went so far as to do a video interview with Besen, which was posted last month on YouTube. And Besen features McAlvey’ story on his website.
“As both a graduate of Michigan State University and a recovering victim of Mr. Jones’ “ex-gay” therapy I find it sickening that the Corduroy Stone website continues to be supported by MSU. It is horrifying to think that taxpayer money, including my own, is supporting Mr. Jones and his strange and dangerous “work” with Corduroy Stone,” said McAlvey in an email to Michigan Messenger. “I am disturbed that this use of MSU server space could be be mistakenly interpreted as lending Corduroy Stone some sort of credibility it certainly doesn’t deserve and in reality does not enjoy.”