LGBT activists on Friday rallied against an “ex gay” conference in Atlanta, calling attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation dangerous, junk science that provides hurt and not help for gay people struggling with their sexual orientation.
Their calls came during a press conference at the Rush Center as a coalition of groups plans a rally in front of the suburban Atlanta church where the Exodus International Love Won Out conference takes place on Saturday.
“To those who are thinking about experiencing and trying out this kind of therapy, think again,” said Sam Wolfe, a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which hosted Friday’s press conference with Truth Wins Out.
“Think about the real harms and junk science that is behind this. Our message to them is that they are not alone. There are people who care,” he said.
Wayne Besen (second photo), founding executive director of Truth Wins Out, says the motivation for Exodus International is in politics and not helping LGBT people.
“This is not about changing LGBT people, it has always been about changing laws to keep discrimination alive and well and it remains so today,” Besen said.
On Saturday, several LGBT groups hope to counter the “ex-gay” conference at Midway Church in Villa Rica by greeting them with protesters as they arrive for the all-day Love Won Out. The protest is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Chaim Levin (top photo, video), a gay man who attempted conversion therapy for more than a year, delivered an emotional response to those who hope they can pray away the gay.
“My message to people considering this therapy? Think twice and remember that just because some people think you are not OK the way you are, just because they think that you are unacceptable to God or society, they are wrong and they are the ones that need to change. You? You are acceptable they way you are,” Levin said.