Rachel Maddow has criticized “ex-gay”
activist Richard Cohen for denying he had a hand in crafting Uganda's
Cohen last year disavowed parts of his
book Coming Out Straight on Maddow's MSBNC show The Rachel
Cohen, the founder of the International
Healing Foundation, claims to have converted the sexual orientation
of himself and thousands of others. He is a former president of
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, a group that believes gay
people can and should be “cured” of their homosexuality.
In promoting the bill which would
increase the penalties for gay sex in Uganda to include execution
under certain instances, lawmakers cited Cohen's work.
During the segment, Maddow grilled
Cohen about a passage in his book in which he wrote “40 percent of
molestation assaults were made by those who engage in homosexuality.”
Cohen quickly retracted the statement, saying the passage would not
appear in the next edition of the book.
During an interview with NPR's Fresh
Air, host Terry Gross asked Maddow about the incident.
“To have somebody disavowing the
reason why they're there talking to me in the first place, their
complicity in this thing that they're denying any responsibility for,
it doesn't bother me as a gay person – it bothers me as a rational
human being. It bothers me as somebody who wants accountability and
who is grossed out by people who shirk their responsibility,”