Gay groups are outraged over a scheduled ex-gay conference supported by Republican Vice Presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin's church that aims to “cure” gays and lesbians of their sexuality.

The conference, called Love Won Out, takes place on Saturday at Abbott Loop Community Church in Anchorage and is being organized by James Dobson's conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family. Promoters of the conference say being gay is a choice.

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 gay, share their stories of how they overcame homosexuality.

Truth Wins Out, a pro-gay group that advocates against ex-gay ministries, said they will travel to Anchorage to oppose the conference, but revealed few details.

“We appear wherever Focus on the Family spreads lies and fear,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “Love Won Out distorts gay life and conflates stereotypes with science, while selling false hope to vulnerable people. We are looking forward to working with Alaskan advocacy groups to counter Focus on the Family's false and destructive messages.”

Anchorage is about thirty miles from Sarah Palin's hometown of Wasilla. And concern has been expressed over Palin's involvement with – or knowledge of – her church's promotion of the ex-gay conference.

An insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed for about six years, says, “You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,” according to a report by The Associated Press.

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

The grandmother-to-be has energized Christian conservatives, who were tepid to Senator John McCain's campaign before he named her to the ticket. She opposes gay marriage and spousal rights for gay couples.

Pro-gay group Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) condemned the ex-gay conference and said their Alaska chapter was making plans to gather outside the conference to offer support for youth attending.

“Families never win at Love Won Out,” said Jane Schlittler, president of PFLAG's Anchorage chapter. “The conference's organizers maliciously target often well-meaning parents who are dealing with a difficult issue in their lives, and in the process put their kids' well-being at risk. Make no mistake: There is far more 'preying' than 'praying' taking place at these meetings, and far more harming than healing in the doctrine of Love Won Out.”

On the net: Truth Wins Out website is at PFLAG national can be reached at