Atlanta Press Conference On Friday, 11:30 AM
Conference Will Damage Families In the Name of Family Values and Sends The False Message That A Person Must Choose Between Sexual Orientation and Faith
WHAT: United for Truth, a coalition of groups supporting fairness and equality, will hold a press conference on Friday and a peaceful protest rally on Saturday against Love Won Out, a so-called “ex-gay” conference hosted by Focus on the Family. This anti-gay organization has already placed offensive, untruthful and misleading billboards on Atlanta’ highways to advertise for the conference.
The controversial event will take place in Woodstock, Georgia at First Baptist Church, the spiritual home of Gov. Sonny Perdue. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, who leads the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). This organization recently caused a firestorm when an article that justified slavery was discovered on its website. Still, Focus on the Family proudly stands by Dr. Nicolosi and supports NARTH’ insidious and dangerous message.
FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE
Where: OutWrite Books, 991 Piedmont Avenue
When: Friday, Nov 3., 11:30 AM
Who: Rev. TJ McGiffert, SoulForce
Wayne Besen, Founder, Truth Wins Out
Daniel Gonzales, Former ex-gay NARTH patient
Patti Ellis, mother, www.FamilyAcceptance.com
More Speakers TBA
Where: First Baptist Church Woodstock, 11905 Highway 92, Woodstock Georgia
When: Demonstration begins at 10 am
BACKGROUND: NARTH’ Dr. Gerald Schoenewolf recently caused a tidal wave of condemnation with a polemic on the group’ website that seemed to justify slavery.
“With all due respect, there is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America,” wrote NARTH “Scientific Advisory Board’ member Dr. Schoenewolf. “It could be pointed out, for example, that Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle, as yet uncivilized or industrialized. Life there was savage, as savage as the jungle for most people, and that it was the Africans themselves who first enslaved their own people. They sold their own people to other countries, and those brought to Europe, South America, America, and other countries, were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa.”
In August, the American Psychological Association specifically condemned NARTH and Focus on the Family by name at their annual convention.
“For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The APA’ concern about the position’ espoused by the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and so-called conversion therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.”
The ex-gay founder of Love Won Out, John Paulk, was photographed in a gay bar in 2000 and eventually left the organization. The co-founders of the ex-gay group Exodus International, Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, fell in love, left their wives and held a commitment ceremony. The enormous failure rate of these groups is usually not discussed and is often concealed from Love Won Out participants.
The purpose of Soulforce is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.
TWO is a non-profit think tank and educational organization that counters right wing disinformation campaigns, debunks the ex-gay myth, and provides accurate information about the lives of GLBT people. Besen, the group’ founder and Executive Director, is the author of “Anything But Straight: Unmasking The Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth.”
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