Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Contact: Wayne Besen, Executive Director
Phone: 917-691-5118

Exodus “Pray Away The Gay’ Event Is Deceptive and Misleading, Says TWO

IRVINE, Calif. — Truth Wins Out (TWO) will join California LGBT advocates, Saturday, June 19, to fight back against the “ex-gay” group Exodus International, which celebrates 35 years of selling false hope to desperate and vulnerable people. One week prior to Exodus’ June 26th event, the coalition will hold the “It’s Not a Choice, LGBT Affirmation Conference” at the Irvine United Congregational Church from 9AM-5PM. (491Alton Pkwy)

“We are here to say you can’t pray away the gay and you are fine, just the way you are,” said Truth Wins Out’ Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Every respected medical and mental health organization in the nation says that attempts to change sexual orientation can be harmful. Exodus routinely confuses stereotypes with science and has left a trail of tears in its destructive wake.”

Besen will join a number of speakers at the conference, including Michael Bussee, the co-founder of Exodus International, who renounced the ministry and held a commitment ceremony with his male partner. Besen is the author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth (Haworth 2003). In Sept. 2000, Besen photographed Exodus chairman John Paulk inside a gay bar.

The LGBT Affirmation conference will be hosted by: Irvine United Congregational Church (IUCC), Orange County Equality Coalition (OCEC), Equality California (EQCA), Courage Campaign, Integrity, USA, Progressive Interfaith Alliance, Therapists 4, Gender Queer Revolution and California Faith for Equality.

While Exodus pretends it “loves” LGBT people, its rhetoric reveals contempt, says TWO. The group’ President, Alan Chambers, said in a 2005 Exodus Newsletter, “One of the many evils this world has to offer is the sin of homosexuality. Satan, the enemy, is using people to further his agenda to destroy the Kingdom of God and as many souls as he can.”

At the “Family Impact Summit,” a right wing conference in Brandon, Florida held on Sept. 21, 2007, Chambers told the crowd of social conservatives, “We have to stand up against an evil agenda. It is an evil agenda and it will take anyone captive that is willing, or that is standing idly by.”

Exodus recently caused outrage when its board member from California, Don Schmierer, spoke at a conference in Uganda last year that vowed to “wipe out” homosexuality. His visit resulted in the infamous Anti-homosexuality Bill, better known as the “kill the gays” legislation.

Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that defends the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community against anti-gay misinformation, counters the so-called “ex-gay” industry and educates America about the lives of LGBT people.

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