National Organization of Women Plans Protest Response To 'Love Won Out'
NEW YORK -- Truth Wins Out announced today that its Executive Director, Wayne Besen, would be in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to participate in actions to educate the public about the dangers of the "ex-gay" industry. Besen is the author of "Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Ex-Gay Myth". The educational events coincide with Love Won Out, Focus on the Family's "pray away the gay" road show, which will be held on June 13.
"The community response has been incredible and we are looking forward to countering the misinformation that Focus on the Family will import into Grand Rapids," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. "It is important that people know that you can't pray away the gay, but you can learn to love people for who they truly are."
Grand Valley State University departments have teamed up to host a panel discussion on religion and homophobia that will feature national and local experts.
"Religion and Homophobia: Spiritual Violence in Our Community" is set for Thursday, June 11, from 7-9 p.m. in the Eberhard Center, room 215, on Grand Valley's Pew Grand Rapids Campus at 301 W. Fulton St. The event is free and open to the public.
Besen will begin the discussion with a presentation about the validity of "ex-gay" reparative ministries or therapies. Truth Wins Out is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to defending the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community against anti-gay misinformation campaigns.
Panel members will include the following: ** John Corvino, Wayne State University professor, author and lecturer; ** Milt Ford, director of Grand Valley's LGBT Resource Center; ** Judith Snow, Grand Rapids area forensic therapist and author; ** Doug Van Doren, pastor of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ; ** Josh Sleutel, GVSU student, previous reparative therapy patient.
The event is sponsored by Grand Valley's Division of Inclusion and Equity, Dean of Students Office, LGBT Resource Center, Women's Center, Women and Gender Studies Department, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Liberal Studies Department, Allies and Advocates, and the LGBT Faculty and Staff Association.
Additionally, the National Organization of Women is planning a protest response to "Love Won Out". It will take place on June 13 at the Calder Plaza from noon-1pm.
Wayne, you are doing a very good thing. :)
With all of the progress that we have made, it is easy for us to forget that there are still many gay people, especially the young, who have not reached the point where they love and accept themselves. The work you are doing will save some of them from falling into the dangerous web of "ex-gay" lies.
Those of us who had a tough time of it should never forget the personal struggles that we went through before we could finally say, with pride, that we were as worthy as everyone else. For others who were not as fortunate, the sense of self-doubt and self-loathing is very real.
Most of us were lucky; during that vulnerable time, we met people who told us that we were fine as we were. They taught us that we should love and accept ourselves. Imagine if we had fallen into the opposite hands...the hands of the ex-gay ministries! I am in New York; those deceptive groups are not as prevalent here, but in the midwest and south, they are often the first group that a young gay person reaches out to, and THAT is a tragedy. Thank goodness that Wayne is there to tell them the truth!
posted by Chris L., at
6/02/2009 5:06 PM
It's good to see NOW on board with us. Often those who are homophobic are often extremely misogynistic as well and there are at least some women who "get" this.
I feel so badly for anyone who gets caught in the "ex-gay" movement. I had a lot to overcome on the path to finally being able to be out and proud, but at least I didn't have to put up with the constant undermining of all that I was and am by a bunch of self-hating GLBT people who try to make other GLBT people hate themselves as well.
I'm really glad that Wayne is out there calling attention to this self-destructive crap. Thanks from the bottom of my heart, Wayne!
posted by Merlyn, at
6/05/2009 9:08 AM
Don't these people know that Jesus was a gay man? And that he loved himself.
posted by ewe, at
6/06/2009 5:32 PM