After a tip-off from former Love In Action client, turned activist/superhero Peterson Toscano, who phoned yesterday in regards to "possibly big developments" in this investigation, which he recieved from an anonymous source...today it has been confirmed....
The summary from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities (DMHDD) review of Love In Action:
DMHDD staff met with Mr. John Smid, Executive Director of Love In Action, on August 19, 2005. Based on the meeting, it was determined that Love In Action is operating two unlicensed mental health supportive living facilities in Memphis.
In accordance with DMHDD's licensure procedures, a certified letter was sent to Mr. Smid. The letter dated August 23, 2005, stated licensure staff's determination that Love In Action was operating two unlicensed facilities. The letter further stated that he must stop operating the homes within seven (7) days of receiving the letter, or apply for a license within the same time period.
The Department's Office of Licensure determines the seven day period based on the date the organization receives the letter. This is verified by return receipt from the Post Office. Licensure did not receive a return receipt from the post office, so another letter was sent Thursday, September 8th.
If Mr. Smid does not respond by September 15th, licensure staff will revisit Love In Action, to determine if the agency is still operating the two homes. If the homes are still operating, licensure will recommend to the Department's Commissioner that a cease and desist order be issued to Love In Action, in accordance with DMHDD Licensure Law.
Deputy Press Secretary
Governor's Communications Office
Stay tuned for more information about the progression of this story, what is means in the long run for Ex-Gay facilitites, and for Love In Action in Memphis, TN.
- QAC PRESS RELEASE IN REGARDS TO INVESTIGATION:
LOVE IN ACTION FACES POSSIBLE CEASE AND DESIST ORDER
- Queer Action Coalition
- Email: email@example.com
- Web: http://fightinghomophobia.blogspot.com /
FOR IMMEDITATE RELEASE…MONDAY, SEPT 12, 2005
LOVE IN ACTION, The Memphis-based organization that has come under fire over the past several months after a Bartlet teenager revealed his parents were forcing him into the “fundamentalist christian program for gays”, now faces possible cease and desist orders from the State of Tennessee Dept of Mental Health and Developemental Dissabilities. (see attached statement from the the DMHDD)
This investigation is the third that Love In Action has undergone since protests formed outside their facilities on June 6 of this year by the Queer Action Coalition, a group that seeks to educate the public about issues regarding sexual orientation through the dissemination of information, and community activism. It is the Queer Action Coalition’s belief that any services a counselor/facility provides to a person in need should be beneficial, unbiased and with professional merit, to insure that the person seeking their counsel will be able to do so in a well-informed, healthy atmosphere, and further more that no one should be coerced into any “treatments” for homosexuality considering that all major mental health associations1 clearly state that it is not an illness.
As concerned citizens we feel the negative/uninformed view of homosexuals held by Love In Action contributes to the “brokenness, abandonment, and rejection” felt by the very people they claim to offer treatment or counseling to. We are concerned that such views endanger the well being of gay, and lesbian youth on a daily basis who may already face prejudice, and hatred, which often leads to emotional and physical abuse.
1 The American Psychiatric Association