In July and again in September, embattled Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Oz expressed support for a Senate bill to protect same-sex marriage, in a departure from the more conservative wing of his party. In reality, the noted New Jersey resident is hardly an LGBTQ rights supporter, speaking out against trans athletes and backing bills mimicking Florida’s dehumanizing “don’t say gay” legislation.
And yet, it seems Oz’s campaign doesn’t want you to know any of this. As of Monday afternoon, the Dr. Oz Show’s website appears to have scrubbed all of its 2012 segments about gay conversion therapy, including a three-part interview with an anti-LGBTQ “reparative therapy” advocate, subsequent interviews with advocates at GLAAD and GLSEN rebutting the pro-conversion therapy segments, and a blog post from Oz about the “debate” around conversion therapy.
Of course, you can still find Oz’s blog via the web archive, here. “I felt that we needed to include all parties who have considered reparative therapy to hear the stories of people who have tried these treatments,” Oz wrote. “Although some viewers may disagree with this tactic, if we want to reach everyone who might benefit from understanding the risks of this therapy, you have to present multiple perspectives.” He said he ultimately concluded that “not enough published data [supports] positive results with gay reparative therapy” and expressed concern for its impacts on minors. But even giving a platform to extremists advocating for the torture of LGBTQ children in the name of respecting “both sides” and “multiple perspectives” is reprehensible enough.
Oz’s Senate campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If the removal of the gay conversion therapy segments from his website was deliberate, it’s unclear to whom, exactly, Oz is pandering. Anti-LGBTQ Republican voters who might be upset by his 2012, stated opposition to conversion therapy? LGBTQ voters incensed that he platformed conversion therapy advocates in the first place? One thing we do know is that Oz has a long history of flip-flopping, particularly on issues like LGBTQ rights and abortion, to appeal to his right-wing base.
Throughout his time hosting the Dr. Oz Show, Oz on numerous occasions expressed support for LGBTQ youth and spoke to a trans teen and her mother. This, of course, makes his more recent statements against trans athletes and in support of state legislation to practically write trans youth out of existence all the more abhorrent. In a similar vein, Oz, once pretty vocally pro-choice, more recently called abortion at any stage “murder” and called himself “100% pro-life.” He’s repeatedly refused to publicly commit to a stance on a federal abortion ban, and his silence pretty much tells us what we need to know.
Oz is currently running a competitive race against the Democratic nominee for Senate, Pennsylvania lieutenant governor John Fetterman. For months, Oz’s campaign has been plagued by one scandal after another, between reporting that his Columbia University experiments resulted in the deaths of hundreds of dogs and other animals, and his bizarre choice to stand in front of Hitler’s old car at a campaign fundraiser that also featured the incel hero Jordan Peterson. More recently, Oz and his surrogates in conservative (and even mainstream) media have launched vicious, ableist attacks on Fetterman for having survived a stroke.
In other words, the race has been going about as smoothly as you might expect for a kookie, carpet-bagging, grifting celebrity doctor from New Jersey.