Wayne Suit LargeSun to Set On Focus on the Family’ Infamous “Pray Away The Gay’ Road Show

BIRMINGHAM — Truth Wins Out (TWO) announced today that its Founder, Wayne Besen, would speak on the dangers of the “ex-gay’ myth on Thursday (7PM) at the University of Alabama Birmingham. The UAB presentation coincides with Focus on the Family’ final Love Won Out conference, which they sold to Exodus International in the midst of financial trouble. TWO has worked with local gay advocates across the nation to stage protests against Love Won Out, and in 2000, Besen photographed its “ex-gay” organizer, John Paulk, in a Washington, DC gay bar.

The multi-media presentation is sponsored by UAB’ Office of the Vice President for Equity and Diversity, The Alliance for GLBT Equality at UAB, Equality Alabama Birmingham, Central Alabama Pride, Covenant Community Church and PFLAG.

The event will take place Thursday (7PM) at Hill University Center Alumni Auditorium, 1400 University Blvd. It’ on the NE corner of University & 14th Street S.

“The sun is setting on a dangerous program that has brought much darkness and pain to families across America,” said Wayne Besen, Founder and Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “I look forward to sharing the history of misery and misinformation Love Won Out has brought to countless people. I hope to get out the facts and let gay and lesbian people know they are fine just the way they are.”

Throughout the week, Besen will join a coalition of Alabama gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocates responding to Focus on the Family’ Love Won Out conference, which encourages people to “pray away the gay.” This includes a protest at the “Love Won Out” conference at Metropolitan Church of God. The peaceful protest is planned on public right of way near the entrance of the church, which faces Interstate 459 near the Acton Road exit.

Earlier this week, Besen was named one of Instinct Magazine’ “Leading Men.” In 2006, Besen was recognized in the Advocate Magazine’ “People of the Year” issue for his work with TWO. He is the author of “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth” (Haworth, 2003) and “Bashing Back: Wayne Besen on GLBT People, Politics and Culture.” Besen has appeared as a guest on leading news and political talk shows including: NBC Nightly News, CNN’ Talk Back Live and The Point, Fox’ O’Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes, MSNBC News and Comedy Central’ The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

“The research is very clear that you can’t pray away the gay and attempts to do so can be harmful,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “Focus on the Family is offering false hope to vulnerable people and profiting from their pain. They are intentionally confusing stereotypes with legitimate science in an attempt to mislead people about homosexuality. We hope to offer a realistic view of our lives and use sound science to set the record straight.

Earlier this week, Focus on the Family’ founder, James Dobson, announced he would end his long-running radio show.

Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that counters anti-gay misinformation, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit TruthWinsOut.org.

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