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16 June  2005 (Updated June 17, 18 and 19)

 

 

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Gay Reparative Therapy:  Statements From Today’s ‘Love In Action’ Press Conference

 

 


IMPORTANT NOTE:  Love In Action or Love In Action International mentioned on this page is nothing to do with the Love in Action charitable work for the needy by Billy Graham
 

 
 

The following transcripts of statements at the 'Love In Action' press conference in Memphis have been provided by Detour Memphis.

Love In Action International's Official Statement, as
delivered by Rev. John J. Smid:

Our mission is to be a Christ-centered ministry for the prevention or treatment of unhealthy and destructive behaviors which includes same-sex attractions, facing families, adults, and adolescents.

Our heart’s cry is to see families reconciled, to help people trapped in addictive and out of control behaviors find freedom in Christ, and to help struggling youth to find a place of refuge.

The United States of America was founded on the freedom of religion. It is our spiritual conviction that sexual behavior outside of heterosexual marriage is considered wrong in the sight of God.

As a licensed minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ I am accountable to remain faithful to biblical truth and responsible to serve our community as a messenger of Christ and an encourager of His people. I also am someone who has lived a life of immoral sexual behavior involved in inappropriate homosexual relationships. Twenty years ago I followed the conviction of Jesus Christ into sexual obedience.

Based upon these biblical truths, we are available to those who hold to those same convictions.

We are a ministry whose mission is to assist others in living a life of self control. We emphasize this specifically in areas that that cross over their spiritual convictions.

We feel deeply convicted in the scriptural principal of the responsibility of Christian parents to raise their minor children in spiritual training in life and behavior as described in Ephesians chapter 6 verse 4.

We facilitate a ministry called “Refuge”. It is our intent with this program to assist the parents of minor children in bringing forth information and awareness in helping these young people in making informed decisions about how they will chose to act upon their sexuality upon reaching adulthood.

This program is operated on the will of the guardian or parent. We will work with the minor children as long as they are not overtly distracting to their own program or the program of others.

If it is shown that the client is overtly treatment resistant, we will work with the parent towards alternative options for their care and overall relational health.

Therefore, we are standing firm on our belief that a Christian parent has the responsibility to intervene on behalf of their children when deemed necessary.

So, it is not only the right of the parent to intervene, we believe it is their moral, Christian, responsibility.

We are treading upon a dangerous line when we consider taking away the rights of parents to raise their children in their own moral convictions.

It is my personal concern that years from now, our young people will look back with deep grief and consequences of their immoral choices and say, “You knew this was wrong, why didn’t you warn me that this would hurt me”.

I would ask us all to look deep in our hearts concerning our own sexuality and be honest. How many times have we been wounded by sexuality without discretion?

Transcript of Gerard Wellman's Statement:
(Gerard Wellman is a graduate of the 9-month Source program)

My name is Gerard Wellman and I am a graduate of the 9-month Source program of Love In Action International. I have experienced same sex attractions for as long as I can remember, and I have acted upon these feelings on many occasions in the past. As my faith in God and I matured, I became more and more convicted with each instance of homosexual behavior that what I was doing was wrong. Often, the distinction between me and my behavior became blurred, and I began to experience self-hatred and feelings of worthlessness, insignificance, and inadequacy. I assumed that if everyone knew of my behavior, they would automatically reject me. Unfortunately, out of fear I placed God in that category, along with my family.

In November of 2002, God, through his word, brought me to the realization that my behavior was destroying me, and that I needed help. I found what I needed in Love In Action. I found acceptance and love. I found peace and hope. I learned that “homosexual” describes actions – not people. I found the distinction between what I do and who I am. But the most incredible thing I discovered was that I have a choice. I am not bound to act upon my same-sex desires – I do not have to dishonor myself and my body with anything I do not want to do. I do not have to enter any lifestyle I do not choose to enter.

Since my graduation from the Source, I have discovered that God does not ask anything impossible of me. I am here to tell anyone who’s listening that there is an alternative to homosexuality. I strongly believe that if there is a conflict between my Christian faith and homosexual activity, then my actions must change – not my faith. I cannot adjust God to fit me…I must and can adjust me to fit God.

Further statements at DetourMemphis

LINKS

A Gay American Teen’s ‘Blog’ Reveals the Hell Some Can be Put Through by Parents and Others - UK Gay News, June 14

Zach’s Story:  Other American Gay Kids’ Pleas For Help - UK Gay News, June 17

Gay Teen Has Further 6 Weeks in LIA Reparative Therapy.  The gay teen in Tennessee who came out" to his parents last month and was promptly sent to a Love In Action International Inc.” refuge for reparative treatment has to stay at the fundamentalist Christian institution for a further six weeks, DetourMemphis is reporting. - June 19

BaptistWatch website:  An article by Robert Truluck about the fallacy of therapy to "cure" gays.

BaptistWatch website:  Scripture Is Not the Ally Christian Homophobes Think It Is, by Bishop John Shelby Spong

Social Work Today - USA:  Reparative Therapy — What’s Broken?  By Kate Jackson (from May/June 2005 issue).  While science suggests that nothing is broken, this therapy seeks to “repair” homosexuals.

Memphis Flyer - USA:  Yellow is Blue and Pink's a Sin at the Love in Action Camp, by Chris Davis.  How does God make a gay man straight? In 1997, John Smid, the ex-gay director of Love in Action, a homosexual conversion center located in Memphis, tried to explain this mystery to a Memphis Flyer reporter ... (June 17 issue)

Resources

ChildhelpUSA® Tennessee website.  Define the forms of abuse including:  Emotional Abuse - Any attitude or behavior which interferes with a child's mental health or social development. This includes yelling, screaming, name-calling, shaming, negative comparisons to others, telling a child they are "bad," "no good," "worthless," "a mistake," etc.

DetourMemphis
Queer Action Coalition - A group of concerned Memphians who have come together to work towards educating society about the existence of "ex-gay" ministries.
Pulpfaction blog (Love In Action or Child Abuse)
A
n online petition in support of relieving Zach of his unnecessary treatment.

Eywitness News, Memphis (ABC) Turning Gay Teens StraightVideo report here
Eywitness News, Memphis (ABC).   Gay to Straight Controversy - Video from Thursday's Love In Action press conference (June 17)
WMCTV Channel 5:  Inside Love In Action - a video report on Love In Action programme.  Also from WMCTV:  Scared Straight.

 

16 June  2005 (Updated June 17, 18 and 19)