Thursday, February 16, 2012

'Ex-gays' gather outside Atlanta this weekend

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 6:15 PM

"There are many questions out there about homosexuality. If you need answers, this is the conference for you."

So begins Exodus International's pitch for its "Love Won Out" conference this Saturday at Midway Church in Villa Rica, intended to "assist" and help others assist those "struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions."

Besides being a great place for "ex-gays" to hook up on the down low (jokes), the Southern Poverty Law Center says "Love Won Out" — a joint effort of Exodus International and everyone's favorite evangelical propaganda mill Focus on the Family — is a "dangerous" opportunity for the religious right to promote "conversion therapy."

Tomorrow morning, the SPLC and other advocacy groups are hosting a press conference to combat the "Love Won Out" doctrine ...

TOMORROW, Friday, February 17 the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Truth Wins Out and other advocacy groups will hold a press conference exposing the dangers of conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy — sometimes known as reparative or “sexual reorientation” therapy — is a dangerous practice based on the premise that people can change their sexual orientation, literally “converting” from gay to straight. It has been discredited or highly criticized by virtually all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological and professional counseling organizations.

In addition to the press conference, the groups will host a community meeting for survivors of conversion therapy and individuals contemplating the therapy. The meeting will also be attended by individuals planning to participate in a protest of Exodus International’s Ex-Gay conference outside of Atlanta Saturday.

In the "Questions" section of Love Won Out's website, they combat the notion that they think homosexuality can be "cured" ...

The only time you’ll ever hear the word “cure” used in relation to our event is by those who oppose Love Won Out. They also like to claim we want to “fix” or “convert” gays and lesbians and that we believe people can “pray away the gay.” Such glib characterizations ignore the complex series of factors that can lead to same-sex attractions; they also mischaracterize our mission. We exist to help men and women dissatisfied with living homosexually understand that same-sex attractions can be overcome. It is not easy, but it is possible, as evidenced by the thousands of men and women who have walked this difficult road successfully.

OK, so "overcoming" homosexuality is what they're doing. Semantics.

The SPLC's press conference is at 10:30 tomorrow morning at the Phillip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave. NE, Suite A. Oh, and to be fair (for a change), Love Won Out takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at 3915 Carrollton Villa Rica Hwy. in Villa Rica.

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