Gay activists to picket ex-gay conference

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In an amusing spot of role-reversal, gay activists in Texas are planning to protest outside a church holding a conference for ex-gays.

Truth Wins Out will picket the church in Carrollton, TX, this Saturday, as a one day conference by Christian organisation Living Hope covers topics such as “Raising Gender-Healthy Kids” and “Homosexuality and the Bible.”

Wayne Besen, executive director of TWO, said: “This symposium is a masquerade of the misguided that shatters families, ruins lives and can lead to suicide.

“Living Hope should stop using distorted images of gay life, outdated science and slanderous stereotypes to scare people into attending its conference.

“We also reject the false message that gays and lesbians cannot be people of faith.”

The ex-gay movement received a serious setback earlier this month when the American Psychological Association denounced their practices as damaging and reiterated their belief that homosexuality is not an illness.

The ex-gays had picketed the APA conference, but failed to pressure the association into changing its stance.

Truth Wins Out said they intend to peacefully protest and “greet the people coming there to attend this conference and let them know that there is hope and that they can live open, proud lives.”

TWO have mocked some of the more extreme methods of the ex-gay movement, such as banning men from wearing Abercrombie Fitch or Calvin Klein clothing. More seriously, the religious Right perform exorcisms on gay and lesbians, some of them under the age of 16.

“Living Hope and other ex-gay ministries like it thrive on fear. They tell people that because they are gay, they will live miserable, lonely lives and that they will die of AIDS.

“They say there really is no such thing as a gay person, that you are actually just a misbehaving heterosexual,” Besen said.