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 homosexually.”

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'.”

The Anything 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 homosexuality.

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 ex-gay victims.

And the group is also scheduled to protest outside the Love Won Out conference on Saturday.

On the net: Truth Wins Out is at www.truthwinsout.org