Air Force Academy Continues Defending Employment of Conversion Therapy Advocate

by HRC Staff

Dr. Mike Rosebush practiced conversion therapy over the phone; was previously affiliated with anti-gay groups Focus on the Family and NARTH


Washington– The United States Air Force Academy is continuing to defend the hiring of conversion therapy advocate Dr. Mike Rosebush. Dr. Rosebush, hired by the Academy in 2009, works for the Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development. The academy insists the conversion therapy advocate doesn’t counsel cadets, instead claiming he simply coaches them in developing good leadership skills. Today, the Air Force Academy attempted to calm the growing outrage by holding a teleconference call, featuring three supportive cadets who spoke about the culture for LGB people at the Academy.

“It’s stunning that Air Force Academy officials think it’s even remotely appropriate to have someone like Mike Rosebush in a leadership position,” said Fred Sainz, Human Rights Campaign Vice President of Communications. “While it’s positive that some cadets feel the culture at the Academy is welcoming to openly LGB people, it’s undeniable that Mike Rosebush’s toxic views send a harmful message that there is something fundamentally wrong with being gay. That is irresponsible, and his junk science has no place at the United States Air Force Academy.”

Rosebush’s anti-gay resume is hefty. Prior to working at the Air Force Academy, Rosebush offered over-the-phone conversion therapy through his business “Coaching Confident.” He also served as a Vice President for the anti-gay group Focus on the Family and as a member of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). 

Rosebush also was Director of Professional Counselors for Exodus International, the now-defunct “ex-gay” organization. Several months ago, Exodus International president Alan Chambers issued an apology to the LGBT community and denounced his position that sexual orientation or gender identity could be cured. Rosebush also authored the 2009 book “Sanctification Coaching” and billed himself as an expert in helping men tackle “unwanted same-sex attractions.”

Efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity have been condemned by the nation’s leading medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. California and New Jersey have passed laws banning conversion therapy on minors.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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