Sunday, July 31, 2005
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Founder of Love in Action Speaks Out Against LIA
John Evans, one of two founders of Love in Action, speaks against Love in Action.
Read his letter to John Smid on Wayne Besen's Blog.
Here are a few quotes for you:
"In the past 30 years since leaving the 'ex-gay' ministry I have seen nothing but shattered lives, depression and even suicide among those connected with the 'ex-gay' movement," Evans writes in his letter to John Smid, Love In Action's current director. "I challenge Christians to investigate all sides of the issue of being gay and Christian. The Church has been wrong in the past regarding moral issues and I'm sure there will be more before Christ returns."Love in Action has deleted him from their history as evidenced on their Facts about Love In Action International where they state that the church was founded by Frank Worthen in San Rafael, California.
Evans, a gay man, founded what may be the first modern ex-gay group in San Raphael, Calif. in 1973, along with a heterosexual preacher Kent Philpott. Evans left his life partner of ten years to start the gay conversion group. He later dropped out after he realized it didn't work and his best friend committed suicide because he could not turn heterosexual.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Washington Blade Article on Exodus
Frank and Anita Worthen warned a group of ex-gay men and
their would-be wives that it is best to avoid deep kissing until
after marriage, and that prudent couples wait a year after
wedding before attempting intercourse. (Photo by Jeremy Bigwood)
The Washington Blade lets Exodus conference speakers speak for themselves.
Some key quotes from the story:
From Frank and Anita Worthen's workshop:
Falwell said parents must intervene. Allowing a teen to be gay is as dangerous as allowing a son or daughter to play on the interstate, he said.
Frank Worthen, an Exodus founder, and his wife, Anita, offered tips on how the ex-gay male can marry a woman and meet the expectations of family and friends. They addressed a classroom packed with about 60 people, about half with what appeared to be their spouses.
“Men are ready for marriage when their desire to be protected becomes a desire to protect,” Frank Worthen said. “A man should also have three years of celibacy,” he added, “and have been free of pornography and masturbation for some time.”
A wife needs to be prepared to offer extra help so that her husband can have an erection, she said. Also, she said some men do not enjoy the feel of a woman’s skin.
On Point Story
WBUR.ORG has created an amazing piece that features the following speakers:
|·||Alex Williams, style reporter for The New York Times|
|·||John Smid, Love in Action Director|
Christine Sneeringer, Director of Worthy Creations Ministry, which offers support groups for gay people who want to become straight
|·||Joseph Nicolosi, Director of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality|
|·||Jack Drescher, Chair of the American Psychiatric Association Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual issues|
|·||Leah Deriel, recent graduate and engineer who has sought help to stop her strong feelings toward women|
|·|| Brandon Tidwell, a former client of "Love in Action," a evangelical program in Memphis for gay men and women who want to become straight.|
Listen to it here:
WMCTV Channel 5 story on QAC Protest
Thursday, July 28, 2005
QAC Press Release
QUEER ACTION COALITION TO CELEBRATE DIVERSITY AND UNITY WITH RALLIES AND A SILENT VIGIL
MEMPHIS, Tennessee, July 26, 2005: Queer Action Coalition will be hosting two rallies on Friday, July 29, 2005 at the Love in Action facility at 4780 Yale Road, Memphis, Tennessee to create awareness of the harmful practices of Love in Action. The first rally will start at 8:30am and end at 9:30am. The second rally will begin at 4:30pm and end at 5:30pm.
Queer Action Coalition will also host a silent vigil on Saturday, July 30, 2005 from 11:00am to 1:00pm to honor the voices of those silenced by homophobic ex-gay organizations such as Love in Action. Queer Action Coalition spokespersons will be available for comment at all rallies.
Queer Action Coalition is comprised of people of all ages and sexual orientations working together to advance the civil rights applicable to any person regardless of sexual orientation. Queer Action Coalition was founded June, 2005 by a group of Memphis youth to further the dissemination of information about programs that claim to “treat homosexuality” and to combat homophobia in the United States.
CNN Part Two
Let's hope this piece actually addresses the facts and not the opinions of Love In Action's paid spokesperson.
Gay to straight. One man says he has changed his ways. We’ll tell you how he says he did it. Tune in at 8 p.m. ET.
Good Morning America
The GMA story went much further than last night's CNN story in uncovering the truth and the lies associated with so-called "reparative therapy". The program featured Brandon Tidwell, LIA paid spokes person Gerard Wellman, John Smid and also made sure to mention the fact that all major medical and psychological associations have fully discredited "reparative therapy" as a healthy and viable way to deal with one's coming-out process.
Ex-Gay watch provides a great critique of both stories here.
Most important was the fact that this story had many different points of view and did not present the two sides as having equally valid arguments.
Brandon's statements carry a lot more weight than those of the paid staffers of Love in Action. In fact, his statements and those of Peterson Toscano , two former Love in Action clients, are those that people will actually believe.
Take a look at the story that ABC posted on their site about the ex-gay issue "Do Christian-Based Reparative Therapy Programs Help or Hurt Those Troubled by Their Sexuality?"
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
THE TV NEWS BLITZ BEGINS
- A VIDEO OF THE SHOW SHOULD BE AVAILABLE HERE LATER TONIGHT
Tomorrow morning Good Morning America will air a piece at 8am Eastern Time
- More info on this should be available HERE tomorrow.
Feel free to comment here about your views of both broadcasts.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
PFLAG NATIONAL MAKES OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON LIA/R, AND ZACH
As Zach Stark, the Tennessee teen who recently gained national attention after blogging his fears of being sent to Love in Action, is released from the program this week, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) calls for an ongoing and substantive discussion about the effects of “reparative therapy” on young people and their families.....
Mary Lou Wallner and her husband Bob know the damage of “reparative therapy” all too well. Speaking at a recent PFLAG conference in Bothell, Washington, Mary Lou told the audience that her reaction when her daughter came out was based on the teachings of Dr. James Dobson, a leading “reparative therapy” proponent. “I raised my kids on Dobson. I read his books and listened to his radio broadcasts for years. In December of 1988, when she was about 21 years old, my daughter wrote us a letter and told us that she was a lesbian. I flipped out and…the next nine years were pretty stormy. Then in February of 1997, at age 29, she committed suicide.”
READ THE ENTIRE STATEMENT HERE...
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Wayne Besen's Column on LIA
Wayne Besens's Column: Zach vs.Pat
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Love in Action Featured on NPR
As part of a roundtable discussion on topic such as the PATRIOT Act, random searches of New York City subway passengers the "News and Notes with Ed Gordon" covered Love in Action and Queer Action Coalition protests on Friday July 23rd. Click here for a Real Audio or Windows Media Player file. The discussion of love in action starts about 13:00 minutes into the program.
Friday, July 22, 2005
WHAT DOES LOVE IN ACTION LOOK LIKE?
TWO RALLIES AT LOVE IN ACTION
Please join us for what we anticipate will be the largest peaceful demonstration against the practices of "Love" in Action to date, and possibly the last for awhile. We anticipate major national media present and we hope that all of those who feel strongly about this issue will come show their support at either, if not both of these rallies. Please bring appropriate, non-judgemental, positive signs, banners, and attitudes.
LET'S SHOW THE WORLD
WHAT LOVE IN ACTION LOOKS LIKE.
Get directions here: "Love" in Action HQ.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Salon Article Part Two
Click here for part two of the Salon.com articles on the ex-gay movement:
My gay therapy session
To find out how "reparative therapy" works, I pretended to be gay. My licensed Christian therapist explained to me why homosexuality is a mental disorder, what the "Wizard of Oz principle" is, and why kids who can't "hit the ball or fire the gun" are more likely to be gay.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Monday's DEMONSTRATION, and words of support from John Evans.
The protest got off to a great start, as has every day of demonstrations, with blue, sunny skies. Today, however started special for QAC, as we received a package from one of Love In Action's two original founders, John Evans, now an openly gay Christian living in California. QAC spoke with John on the phone last week. He was very encouraging, expressing the importance of voicing alternatives to LIA's practices, calling what they do "dangerous", and "harmful". At the time he had no knowledge that LIA had formed REFUGE, or that they had been counseling kids in any way. He was surprised, and reacted with disbelief.
"Love in Action is a very, very dangerous organization that has been destroying people's lives since 1973, and they continue to do so today"
When informed that LIA no longer referred to him as a founder of the organization, Evans responded:
"Well, of course they don't, because they're scared...they're scared of letting people know the truth"
He concluded the letter that came in the packet of information he sent us with:
"Keep up the good work...God Bless You, John Evans."
Also, check out a blog entry from MSNBC's Ron Reagan, titled Conversion Camps?
"Summer’s here, meaning thousands of kids are heading off to camp and participating in a host of familiar activities: hiking, canoeing, archery, re-programming their sexual orientation. Don’t you remember that from your summers at camp?"
Rally at Love in Action Today
Please join us for a peaceful demonstration against the practices of "Love" in Action.
Get directions here: "Love" in Action HQ.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Salon.com Investigates Reparative Therapy
Turning off gays
A loose network of Christian ministries and social workers, with the blessing of the political right, are putting gays and lesbians on the couch, determined to "cure" them.
Follow this link to Salon.com, you will need to either get a 1-day pass or sign-up or go here to view it as a PDF. The article is part of a 4 day series exploring the vagaries of the "ex-gay" movement.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
New York Times Covers Love in Action
Friday, July 15, 2005
LIA Still Offers Drug and Alcohol Counseling
LIA executive director John Smid says they'll tweak their services -- and the wording on their Web site -- in an effort to remain unregulated by the state.
"It's a very minor aspect of what we do," Smid said. "It's really not our focus."
Refuge is designed to minister to adolescents struggling with broken and addictive behaviors such as…
-Drugs and alcohol
Take a look here: Refuge Site
Love In Action changes face.
Love In Action has also changed their official mission statement from:
a Christ-centered ministry for the prevention or treatment of unhealthy and destructive behaviors facing families, adults, and adolescentsto:
Christ-centered ministry for the prevention or remediation of unhealthy and destructive behaviors facing families, adults, and adolescents.Also, in many places they have removed "drug and alcohol addiction" from the list of addictive behaviors they "minister" to, leaving only "promiscuity and homosexuality", however, on the official Refuge website they still claim to offer help for those with Drug and Alcohol addictions.
Here's the problem though...the fact is that the negative view of homosexuals held by Love In Action contributes to the very “brokenness, abandonment, and rejection” felt by the people they claim to offer treatment or counseling(uhm, "prevention or remediation") to. The heart of the matter is that 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. This is what we must keep fighting for, so that more people don't have to get harmed, miseducated, and/or condemned to a life of unnecessary self-hatred, guilt and shame.
Love In Action to Stop Drug and Alcohol Treatment
A second probe of "Love In Action" was begun this week - this time by the state Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Department - because the group was offering counseling in drug and alcohol addiction. State officials say they can't do that without a license.
In an effort to head off the new examination of the camp, Love in Action executive director John Smid said the organization will change its Web site wording and direct clients to established, off-site drug and alcohol counseling services.
The original source is this Commercial Appeal article.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Pat Robertson's Take on Homosexuality
My high school has all these different programs that support homosexuals. I recently found out that one of my close friends was a homosexual, so I attended some events with him just to show him heÂs still my friend. Is this going too far? How do I show him heÂs still my friend without making him think I approve of his lifestyle?Read his answer here.
THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF HETEROSEXUAL RIGHTS
“We felt very good about Zach coming here because… to let him see for himself the destructive lifestyle, what he has to face in the future, and to give him some options that society doesn't give him today,” Stark said. “Knowing that your son... statistics say that by the age of 30 he could either have AIDS or be dead.”
One Has to consider how unfortunate, and misleading it is that Love In Action uses such blatantly biased sources for their statistics on homosexuality, found here on their Refuge Resources page. The International Organization Of Heterosexual Rights is the "official source" LIA uses to show how the "homosexual lifestyle" is destructive. Their website contains some of the most distasteful, and inappropriate anti-gay rhetoric available. It's very disappointing that Love In Action has to use such slanted, hateful sources to promote their "love and acceptance", as Christians, one would have to wonder what Jesus would think about such rude, hateful, and misinformed condemnation being spewed towards other human beings. Here's an example of what you'll find on their website:
"DO TERRORISM AND HOMOSEXUALITY ALWAYS WALK HAND IN HAND?"
"Are You, The Homosexuals of This Country, Stupid? Are You Trying To Kill Everybody!"
"Gay Activists made false allegations against "Love In Action" and "Refuge Program". Gay Activists make false claims to further the gay agenda. They have used the " were the victim", and "need special rights" avenue many times in the past. Groups Like "Queer Action Coalition" and GLSEN's "Gay Straight Alliance" have used tactics like Intimidation, mass protest, harassment and flat out LIES to further their agenda."
"Homosexuals will commit violence to silence the truth. the beating of a church worker. So who is really committing the hate crimes, HOMOSEXUALS are!"
"homosexual activist groups insist that your children are taught how to perform homosexual acts by the time they are in junior high school"
"Medical research now shows that homosexuality and gender identity disorder may be caused by SOY TOXINS and environmental poisons! Are you choosing your child's sexuality for him/her? "
Contact the International Organization For Heterosexual Rights with your comments.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
A peaceful demonstration at Love In Action
MSNBC Article on Ex-Gay Conversion Therapy
Read the MSNBC.com article "Most gays, psychologists reject conversion" and go to the on-line poll here to vote on whether "gays can change".
The ex-gay movement is a “big industry,” said Dr. Doug Haldeman, a psychology professor at the University of Washington who is president of the Association of Practicing Psychologists.
The fact that Focus on the Family was able to draw more than 1,200 people to its conference two weeks ago is troubling, said Haldeman, who co-wrote the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Clients. So-called conversion therapies are ineffective and dangerous, he said, because “sexual orientation can’t be changed.”
Focus on the Family and allied ministries, such as Exodus, Day Seven and CrossOver, preach that hatred and confrontation are wrong. A cornerstone principle of such ministries is the injunction to “love the sinner but hate the sin.”
Zach's Father Speaks
According to cbn.com Zach's father Joe Stark spoke out about Love in Action and Zach's internment at the LIA Refuge Program. Also quoted were ex-LIA client Brandon Tidwell and the eminently quotable John Smid.
Zach's Father Speaks:
"To me it's not what's right and what's left, it's what's right and what's wrong,” Joe said. “My wife and I will stand by that 'till the day we die, as far as homosexuality is not in God's plan – it's wrong."
Read the CBN Story Here
Also, take a look at this story linked on the same CBN site : "Loving Your Gay Son"
Why is QAC's voice not in this article?
Read this e-mail from a CBN.com reporter:
I know there may be some trepidation on your part because CBN is a Christian organization, but I can assure you that this will not be some kind of propaganda piece against the local gay community.I want to be as balanced as possible and present both sides of the story. I know that Zach is going through an extremely difficult time right now, and no matter what your opinion about his situation, his story deserves to be told, and told fairly.Now read the story and figure out why we didn't let them interview us.
What is CBN?
A few links to the history of CBN-- these are as objective as CBN itself:
What you can do:
- Send an e-mail to CBN Editors here and comment on this story
- Send an e-mail to your local news outlet and let them know what's going on and reffer them to us at fighting(dot)homophobia(at)gmail(dot)com
- Send us your reactions through e-mail
- Leave a comment on this post
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
From the HRC's "Finally Free" Personal Stories: How Love and Self-Acceptance Saves Us from the "Ex-Gay" Ministries
“I entered the ‘ex-gay’ ministries because I believed I was going to hell. I left when I realized that hell was life in the ‘ex-gay’ ministries.” —Tracey St. Piere
Download the entire manual here(38pages)
ANTI-GAY HATE CRIMES.....
BIRMINGHAM, Al.-Anthony Dean Morrow, a 28 year old gay man , spoke with his mother at approximately 10 pm, Mon., June 27, 2005. Three hours later he was being admitted into Carraway Hospital. He had been beaten to near death in his own apartment, where he lived alone, then taken approximately 10 blocks away and dumped into the street and left.....
READ ENTIRE STORY HERE
Monday, July 11, 2005
The Documentary, One Nation Under God
 Teodoro Maniaci and Francine Rzeznik, a First Run Features film, 1993.
As a side note, upon looking at the website for the film, we find the following quotes:
"Very funny! An excursion into a strange world. Truly bizarre!" - LA Reader
"Funny and fascinating! Right out of A Clockwork Orange!" - Variety
"Hilarious, surreal! A whirlwind history of the gay movement in America." - San Francisco Bay Guardian
The fact is, one watching the film might have said reactions, however, the sad truth is that the rhetoric and philosophies portrayed in this film are laughable, "bizarre", and "hilarious" only because you want to assume they're so outdated and embarrassing that they could never still exist. Here's the problem...They do. Elizabeth Moberly's seemingly pre-scientific assessments of how people "become gay" are identical to John Smid's in his 1993 paper "The Root Causes: The Child Development Process", where he states that: "homosexuality develops out of a series of decisions in response to our life development process." Outlining healthy ways for parents to avoid making their children gay:
"Healthy activities might include wrestling, sitting on dad's lap, and bathing or swimming together...An example of healthy interaction might be the mother and daughter sitting in front of a mirror while the mother is putting on make-up. "Jennie," the mother says playfully, "let's put a little lipstick on you, too. Then you can be just like Mommy!"
The point here is that today, 2005, organizations like Love In Action are still able to present such "truly bizarre", "funny", "fascinating", and "surreal" idea's about gay people, and yet there are actually people who take their messages seriously enough to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to send their children into their care. In that regards, there's nothing funny about it, because these people obviously love their children, and truly believe they're making the right choices....Watch One Nation Under God, and show it to anyone you know who might support Love In Action.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
LATEST STATEMENT FROM THE TN DEPT. OF HEALTH: Investigation still open
As first outlined Here, in the Washington Blade, by Eartha Melzer on July 01.
The Investigation specifically deals with Love In Action's claims to offer drug and alcohol counseling.
The questions seem to lie in the semantics of LIA's statements about what it is they actually do.
Are they simply a "Christ-centered ministry" that does nothing more than offer a Christian alternative, or are they a "treatment center" that is offering services to people by unprofessional practitioners in an unlicensed, unaccountable environment?
The real danger seems to lie in the fact that when a counselor is operating in an unlicensed environment, they aren't held accountable to even minimal professional standards of ethics, allowing the practitioners to exhibit, and inflict social bias with their clients. This appears to be the particular difficulty in this case, because legally they can be homophobic, biased Christians, and offer these views to others in a form of counseling draped as "ministry". However, it is illegal for them to operate as a "Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facility" as defined by the State of Tennessee, because in this case the State recognizes the danger of such therapy, or treatment offered by unprofessional practitioners to clients with addiction and mental health issues.
Since no major mental health organization views homosexuality as a mental illness, or disorder, any licensed practitioner who approaches a homosexual person with bias, and/or offering "treatment", may lose their license permanently for being in violation of ethics. That said, it seems that Love In Action really has no choice to become a licensed facility, simply because their model of therapy does not follow the ethical standards that are required to acquire such licensing,
WHAT DOES LOVE IN ACTION DO?
Love in Action makes several statements about who they are and what they do, on their official site alone they describe themselves as:
"an addictions treatment center"
"a professional recovery treatment center"
"a Christ-centered ministry for the prevention or treatment of unhealthy and destructive behaviors facing families, adults, and adolescents."
"a Christ-centered Memphis-based international recovery treatment center"
"a leading authority on healing from sexual brokenness."
Most recently in an interview with Family and Friends magazine they refer to their program as:
"a Christian discipleship program"
As stated on the official Refuge Website:
"Refuge promotes change among clients through the use of therapeutic groups, individual counseling and family support..."
It claims also that Refuge is:
"a safe place for young people and their families to find true freedom from addictions through the power of Jesus Christ...
....Designed to minister to adolescents struggling with broken and addictive behaviors such asÂ
-Pornography-Drugs and alcohol-Sexualpromiscuityy-Homosexuality
As defined by: American HeritageÂ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
A copy of the letter that the Tennesse Department of Health sent to Love In Action 29th June 29th.
What the major mental health organizations say about therapy based upon sexual orientation, and reorientation therapies.
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
National Association of Social Workers
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
QAC Weekly Newsletter
To sign up click here, create an account at qaconline.org and you will get your first newsletter at the end of this week.
Great Comparison of US and Spain/Canada
Thanks to Abby for the tip.
Also thanks to all of you that have donated to QAC. For those of you that haven't feel free to do so. Your donations have helped us to create literature, travel to churches and meetings, set up qaconline.org. Future projects include a speakers bureau and a documentary based on these events.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Peterson Toscano Speaks Out
Monday, July 04, 2005
Church Form Letter
Click here to download the letter in MS Word Format.
Here's part of the letter for you:
I am writing about a concern I have with a ministry that your church may be supporting. I have been researching the practices of Love in Action and specifically the teen program Refuge. I am concerned about a number of the rules and procedures for the participants and their parents. The most troubling of the rules include:
Ï Restricting participants to selected parts of Memphis
Ï No outside education while in the program, including public or private high school
Ï Required attendance by participant and parents to a specific Baptist church, which may not be their home Baptist church
Ï Limits on communication with immediate family, friends, other participants, or even self in the form of journals and diaries
Ï No verbal contact nor even gesturing to communicate during first two or three days—only written notes.
Ï A separate set of rules for the parents which are to be hidden from their child.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
QAC Call to Action
What you can do:
Contact these churches and get them to answer whether they know what they're supporting and where their money goes.
CC Queer Action Coalition at fighting.homophobia(at)gmail.com .
Friday, July 01, 2005
TENNESSEE OPENS NEW PROBE INTO LIA
Experts say children should not be forced into counseling
By EARTHA MELZER
Friday, July 01, 2005
The state of Tennessee continues to probe Love in Action, the Memphis facility that has drawn protests since a 16-year-old known as “Zach” blogged that his parents were sending him there for treatment intended to change his sexual orientation.
The Tennessee Department of Health has sent a letter to Love in Action notifying the group that it is suspected of operating illegally, according to Andrea Turner, communications director for the department.
Turner said that if the program is strictly faith-based it would not require licensing by the state, but that according to the group’s Web site, Love in Action has licensed counselors and provides services related to alcohol and drug addiction on site.
Read the full Washington Blade article here.