Vice Presidential candidate’s church supports “ex-gay” movement

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A church attended by Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has been advertising a conference that promises to “cure” gay people.

Wasilla Bible Church publicised the event in Anchorage, Alaska.

It is being run by notorious fundamentalist Christian group Focus on the Family.

The group recently gave its backing to Governor Palin, who last week accepted the Republican party nomination for Vice President of the United States, when news broke that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter was pregnant.

“You’ll be encouraged by the power of God’s love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,” said the ad in the church’s bulletin.

Governor Palin’s nomination as Senator John McCain’s running mate was welcomed by conservatives.

She opposes gay marriage and abortion and supports the teaching of intelligent design alongside evolution.

She has attended services at Wasilla Bible Church for the past six years.

Her views on the so-called “ex-gay” movement are not known.

“Ex-gays” believe that through prayer and therapy the alteration of a person’s sexual orientation is possible.

This position is rejected by all US leading mental health professional groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Pediatric Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.

Many people who go through the process end up not as functioning heterosexuals but as homosexuals pushed into mental breakdowns and/or other mental health problems.

Focus on the Family, the group running the conference backed by the Governor’s church, have been active anti-gay advocates who have worked against issues including gay civil rights and marriage equality.

Truth Wins Out is a group opposing the “ex-gays.”

“We are deeply concerned that Sarah Palin may share the extreme and medically unsound view that gay and lesbian people can and should be cured,” said Executive Director Wayne Besen, who will be in Anchorage next week to oppose the “ex-gay” conference.

“We call on Palin to express her views on this issue so we have a clear idea of where she stands. We hope this is an area where she disagrees with her church.”

Focus on the Family’s “ex-gay” conference will take place at an Anchorage mega-church on September 13th.

The church a candidate chooses to attend became a campaign issue earlier this year when the views of Barack Obama’s preacher came into the public eye.

The Democratic nominee for President was embarrassed when recordings of bombastic sermons by the Rev Jeremiah Wright proclaiming “God damn America” were given massive airtime.

In April Rev Wright defended comments he made during a Chicago sermon which appeared on YouTube.

He told the National Press Club in Washington DC he was unapologetic about comments in which he espoused anti-gay rhetoric and blamed the government for creating HIV.