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In Sacramento, LGBT activists to counter newly formed “ex-gay” movement

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Several well-known LGBT activists will appear this weekend in Sacramento to dispute the scientifically disproved myth that gays can be turned straight.

Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, will give a multimedia presentation on the subject as a new “gays can be cured” group launches in the Sacramento area.

Besen will speak at an event running from 6 to 8:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 22, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral’s International Hall in Sacramento.
Also speaking at the event will be Adam Banks of All Out, who will discuss the impact of “ex-gay” groups worldwide.

Dr. Derrick Lawson, who endured three years of “ex-gay” therapy, will discuss the harm of such programs.

PFLAG, Breaking Barriers, the GLBT Center, Agenda Health Center, Faces and Head Hunters are sponsoring the event.

The LGBT community and their allies in Sacramento are responding to an inaugural conference by the Restored Hope Network, a group of disgruntled extremists vying to replace Exodus International, after that group’s leader Alan Chambers claimed publicly that 99.9% of its clients do not convert from gay to straight.

The new network is a coalition of hardcore ideologues who reject reality, mislead clients and distort the lives of LGBT people. Its leaders are fond of calling gays perverse; some key members even believe that homosexuality is influenced by demons.

The Restored Hope Network will hold its inaugural conference Sept. 21-22 at Sunrise Community Church in Fair Oaks, Calif. Speakers will include Frank Worthen, Andy Comiskey (Desert Stream Ministries) and Dr. Robert Gagnon (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary).

John Smid, former leader of the Exodus ministry, Love in Action, also believes that the Restored Hope Network is selling a false bill of goods.

"The Restored Hope Network will not succeed," Smid said. "Far too many truth tellers exist today. It is a remnant alright, but one that will quickly sink. It may have worked in 1974, but it will not work today. They do not have the goods, nor the truth."

Besen to speak Sept. 26 in L.A.

TWO’s Besen will speak from 7 to 8 pm Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center's Renberg Theater. There will be a reception in the courtyard and gallery from 8 to 9:30 pm.