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TLC’s reality programming has always boasted an impressive pantheon of gay men: the ever dapper Clinton Kelly on What Not to Wear, former Miss Gay America Randy Fenoli on Say Yes to the Dress, the illustrious Vern Yip on Trading Spaces.On January 11, we can add to that number the men on TLC’s new reality special My Husband’s Not Gay, which showcases Mormon men who are open about their attraction to men even as they date and sometimes marry women.

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But if we dig deeper, we might also see the show as a painful portrait of a religion stuck at a crossroads with respect to its official policy on homosexuality.

At least one doctoral thesis, Quinn notes, was produced out of this therapy program and the 1996 independent documentary legacies interviews several men who allege that they were inducted into it.

Throughout Kimball’s leadership—which stretched until his death in 1985—Church leaders were adamant that homosexuality was not inborn and that heterosexual marriage was its chief cure.

After the release of the trailer for the special last week, TLC received a requisite and perhaps well-deserved tongue-lashing.

Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon labels the show a “crass stunt” on a “bottom-feeding vortex of sadness network.” Isha Aran at Jezebel worries that the show “glorif[ies] the way religion can constrain people.” Think Progress calls the premise “uncomfortable and vaguely sad.” Across the board, My Husband’s Not Gay has been cited as a new low for both the network and the stubbornly homophobic Mormon religion.

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