Holding a banner that read “I love my gay son” Karen Turner silently protested outside of the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando. She was flanked by other members of Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) who had journeyed to the Sunshine State and were holding their own signs - “Don't Let Love Lose Out,” “Unconditional Love.”

All these parents, and friends, were protesting a controversial 'ex-gay' conference being held inside the church. The conference, called Love Won Out and held on Saturday, was organized by James Dobson's conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family. The event marked the 50th U.S. conference in the organization's 10 year history.

Even before it began, the conference had drawn outrage over its use of promotional billboards in several cities, including six in Orlando. The billboards advocated the group's belief that one's sexual identity can be changed, “I Questioned Homosexuality and discovered love won out.”

Love Won Out speakers are bold enough to challenge the dominant 'born gay' view. We believe men and women have the right to manage their sexuality according to their faith,” said Focus on the Family's gender and sexuality department director Melissa Fryrear in a press release for the event. “We reject the notion that men and women are bound by genetics to live homosexually.”

Focus on the Family says they help people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions through religious means, including group discussions, counseling, Bible reading and prayer. Speakers at the conference, who, like Fryrear, used to self-identify as homosexual, share their stories of how they overcame homosexuality.

While the American Psychological Association (APA) has published that a person's sexual orientation may change over time, they do not believe this to be a conscious choice. In a 2007 report titled Answers To Your Questions About Sexual Orientation And Homosexuality, the APA's answer to “Can therapy change sexual orientation?,” is: “No... It does not require treatment and is not changeable.”

Another mother protesting the conference said, “To see children going into this meeting and who are gay, and who look at us, and when I say 'how are you' they turn and they look at us, and you see the tears coming down their face, and they know that we love our children unconditionally. And maybe, maybe, that will save a life. And that's what we're all about.”

The Love Won Out tour arrives in Anchorage, Alaska on September 13th and Colorado Springs, Colorado on October 25th.