A gay group that advocates against the
ex-gay movement is planning a series of events – including a
protest – to counter an ex-gay conference scheduled to take place
this weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The conference, called Love Won Out,
takes place on Saturday at the Central Church of God at 5301 Sardis
Road and is being organized by James Dobson's conservative
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,” Melissa
Fryrear, Focus on the Family's gender and sexuality department
director, said in a 2008 statement. “We believe men and women have
the right to manage their sexuality according to their faith. We
reject the notion that men and women are bound by genetics to live
Truth Wins Out President Wayne Besen is
scheduled to appear at Charlotte's Lesbian & Gay Community Center
at 820 Hamilton St. tonight at 7PM.
Besen is set to discuss the “damage
caused by programs that teach people to 'pray away the gay'.”
But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth
author remains the ex-gay movement's harshest critic.
“Love Won Out
distorts gay life and conflates stereotypes with science,
while selling false hope to vulnerable people,” Besen told On
Top Magazine in September 2008.
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
Besen, along with the Charlotte Rainbow
Action Network for Equality (CRANE), will hold a press conference on
Friday to announce the publication of Ex-Gay & The Law, a
new book from Lambda Legal that spells out legal options available to
And the group is also scheduled to
protest outside the Love Won Out conference on Saturday.
On the net: Truth Wins Out is at