But Murphy's family said he never stopped being gay. He hanged himself at the age of 38. Despite allegations by the family that Rekers' therapy decades earlier ultimately led to the suicide , Rekers told CNN that scientifically, it "would be inaccurate to assume that it was the therapy," and that he grieves for the parents.
"Two independent psychologists with me had evaluated him and said he was better adjusted after treatment," Rekers said.
"I only meant to help, do the best I could with the parents," he added.
Rekers' days as a prominent anti-gay champion came to an end after he hired a male escort to accompany him on a trip to Europe. He denied any sexual contact or awareness at the time that the escort offered sexual favors.
Earlier this year, psychiatrist Robert L. Spitzer apologized for his 2003 study of reparative therapy, which suggested that it could help gays and lesbians become straight. He said it was deeply flawed.
"I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy," Spitzer said in a letter to the editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior. "I also apologize to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some 'highly motivated' individuals."
Kendall said the therapy he underwent "led me to periods of homelessness, to drug abuse, to spending a decade of my life wanting to kill myself. It led to so much pain and struggle. And I want them to know that what they do hurts people.
"It hurts children. It has no basis in fact. And they need to stop."