GAYS TO PROTEST AGAINST
THE "EX-GAY" FRAUD
Anti-gay group, "Exodus International," claims it changes
gay people to straight using Christianity
Protest at their June 27th National Convention in Marion, IN
June 8, 2006 – Activists with the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network announced today that on June 27th they will protest against the national convention of what they term as the "ex-gay fraud” of Exodus International (EI), a well-funded far-right organization which claims that it uses Christianity to change Lesbian and Gay people to straight.
The protest will take place at the convention's opening session, 7 PM, Tuesday, June 27 at the Philippe Performing Arts Center of Indiana Wesleyan University on Nebraska Street in Marion, Indiana (a little over 3 hours drive from Chicago). The Gay Liberation Network will be organizing transportation from Chicago (info: LGBTliberation@aol.com and www.Gayliberation.org)
On their web site, Exodus obnoxiously claims to bring “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.” All of the major professional psychological and psychiatric associations have denounced the “ex-gay” movement as damaging and based on pseudo-scientific quackery.
“One of the principal excuses used by anti-gay bigots to justify promoting discrimination against us is their claim that we can ‘change’ from gay to straight,” said the Gay Liberation Network’s Bob Schwartz. “By this ‘logic,’ discrimination against religious minorities is also okay, since they too can change.”
“Their actual track record in ‘changing’ Lesbian and Gay people is predictably abysmal,” said Schwartz. “People hoodwinked into joining the ‘ex-gay’ movement find that no matter how much money they give the movement and no matter how much prayer and ‘Christian therapy’ they get, their gay sexual desires remain intact -- they almost invariably ‘fall off the wagon’ as their gay sexuality reasserts itself.”
As Wikipedia notes, “Exodus International’s first scandal occurred in 1979 when Michael Bussee (one of the five co-founding members who had helped organize the 1976 conference that led to Exodus' inception) left the group to be with Gary Cooper, a volunteer at the local Exodus ministry where they both worked, who was also volunteering for the first Exodus conference. Later they held a life commitment ceremony…
“Exodus International’s most recent and damaging scandal involved John Paulk who became the public face for the organization in its 1998 marketing push to promote its programs. Paulk became active in Focus on the Family and was also the elected chairman of the board of Exodus International North America…
“On September 19, 2003 while on a speaking tour, Paulk was identified drinking and flirting at Mr. P’s, a Washington DC gay bar. After identifying himself as ‘John Clint,’ a name that Paulk used in his days as a hustler in Ohio, a patron contacted Wayne Besen, an employee of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay political action organization. When Besen arrived at the bar forty minutes later and confronted 'John Clint', he denied that he was in fact John Paulk. Upon exiting the bar, Paulk's picture was taken as documentation that he had been in the bar. When confronted by Besen about the incident and the photographs, Paulk admitted being in the bar, but stated that he didn’t know it was a gay bar and had simply stopped in for a moment to use the restroom. However, eyewitnesses reported that Paulk stayed for more than an hour, flirted with other men, and when questioned about his sexuality, said he was gay.”
“If it wasn’t so psychologically damaging, Exodus would be a bad joke,” said Schwartz. “Due to its manifest failure to permanently brainwash adults, Exodus has now begun focusing its recruitment on teenagers. The danger this represents – damaging the self-esteem of Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans kids already prone to suicide thanks to the hatred they often face at home and in society at large – can’t be underestimated.”
The Gay Liberation Network invites all who believe in fairness for LGBT people to join it in protest at the start of the Exodus International national convention, and is organizing transportation from Chicago. If you need a ride, or can provide a ride(s), please email LGBTliberation@aol.com.
The Gay Liberation Network, formerly known as the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network, is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered direct action group. Since its founding in 1998, it has organized most of the Chicago area's pro-LGBT rallies and protests, including the annual Matthew Shepard March for LGBT Rights.