Exodus International Holds Conversion Therapy Conference in St. Paul as Minnesota Marriage Vote Looms

St. Paul, MN – Truth Wins Out, the national LGBT rights group fighting the dangerous “ex-gay” industry, will hold a press conference this Thursday, June 28 to counter the “pray away the gay” propaganda of Exodus International. Exodus, the country’s largest “ex-gay” umbrella group, is holding its annual Freedom Conference in St. Paul from June 27-30.

“Exodus’s decision to hold its annual conference in St. Paul is no mere coincidence, but part of a concerted effort to spread misinformation about LGBT people in Minnesota ahead of November’s vote on the marriage amendment,” said John Becker, TWO’s Director of Communications. “Truth Wins Out is teaming up with equality-minded Minnesotans to fight ‘ex-gay’ fiction with the facts.”

WHO: John Becker, Truth Wins Out
Jeffry G. Ford, psychologist and former leader of Minnesota “ex-gay” group
Monica Meyer, OutFront Minnesota

WHEN: Thursday, June 28, 2012
12:00 noon (CDT)

WHERE: St. Paul Reformation Lutheran Church, Tidemann Hall
100 Oxford St. N
St. Paul, MN
(Church faces north; enter via side entrance on building’s southwest corner)

Background: Exodus International promotes the discredited notion that people can change from gay to straight through therapy and prayer. In January, however, the group’s president, Alan Chambers, told a group of gay Christians that 99.9% of his clients do not change their sexual orientation. Every respected mainstream medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, all say there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and that attempts to do so can be harmful. The American Psychiatric Association says that conversion therapy can be dangerous and lead to “anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior.”

The only mainstream research that contradicted the APA’s claims was a controversial 2001 study by Dr. Robert Spitzer. This year, however, Dr. Spitzer renounced his study and said his work was no longer valid. He told so-called “ex-gay” organizations to stop citing his work and to take down any mention of him and his retracted 2001 study from their websites.

Monica Meyer is the Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota, the state’s leading advocate for LGBT individuals and families.

Jeffry G. Ford is a licensed psychologist who formerly directed Minneapolis-based OUTPOST Ministries, an “ex-gay” operation that claimed to help people go from gay to straight. He has since come out of the closet and speaks out against the very industry he once championed.

John Becker is the man who went undercover with hidden cameras to Marcus and Michele Bachmann’s Minnesota counseling clinic last year and exposed them for offering “pray away the gay” therapy.

Exodus International’s Freedom Conference is being held in St. Paul from June 27-30 at Northwestern College, a private Christian college located at 3003 Snelling Avenue.

Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to create a world where LGBT individuals can live openly, honestly and true to themselves. TWO monitors anti-LGBT organizations, documents their lies and exposes their leaders. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.