A fictional story about Arizona converting gay students into straight ones has the Internet buzzing.
A Phoenix man posted a fake press release Wednesday that's been shared across social media.
It appeared on the National Report website, a news and political satire publication, with the headline that reads:
"Gay-to-straight program to be used in all Arizona public school curriculums beginning November 1st."
Author Paul Horner wrote:
"The State of Arizona is implementing a mandatory school program designed for all children grades K-12 to help homosexual males and women become straight."
He cited the group People Can Change, saying 'it helps thousands of children resolve their unwanted same-sex attractions.'
Horner wrote that Governor Jan Brewer signed off on the program.
He falsely quoted her saying: "I think this will be an amazing opportunity for gay children to finally learn who they truly are for once in their lives. Can you imagine how much more productive these 'now-straight' children will be, not always being bullied or wondering why god made them defective?
There was also a photo of Brewer with a caption that said she held a press conference Wednesday to talk about the program.
By the way, Brewer is in India right now on a trade mission.
"It's a phony and vile report, and its authors should be ashamed," said Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder, in a statement to Fox 10.
On its website, People Can Change -- based in Virginia -- denounced the story, saying:
"The satirical website National Report has issued a FAKE news story alleging that People Can Change programs have been adopted by Arizona public schools. Its own disclaimer admits, 'All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news.'
"In fact, the spokesperson is fake, the interview is fake, the photo with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is fake, the press conference is fake -- and the quotes are fake, rude, and demeaning of gays.
"This satire is not reflective of our organizational values, including compassion, understanding and respect for all who deal with or have ever dealt with homosexuality, however they may choose to address it in their lives.
"People Can Change does not provide programs or services for minors. We are a peer-led support organization of men who have personally experienced significant change from unwanted same-sex attractions ourselves and who now share our experience and give support to other adults who voluntarily seek similar change."
On his Facebook page, Paul Horner said he wrote the story to make it look like it was real.
He says he Photoshopped the governor's photo.
He says he wanted to get people riled up and get them to call their lawmakers, to complain about the gay-to-straight organization.
People Can Change: http://www.peoplecanchange.com/
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