You can’t Pray Away the Gay: Gay Rights Movement Becoming More Confrontational with Religious Right
Unlike past decades, gay rights activists say they increasingly are fighting back against misperceptions that fly in the face of science and the U.S. Constitution.
It’s an extension of the gay civil rights movement, they said, which is confronting religious teachings that tend to marginalize members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Exodus International, the organization putting on the conference this week at Concordia University, promotes “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ,” according to its website.
Jeff Buchanan, director of the Exodus Church Association, says the annual conferences are to “promote a biblical worldview” and to offer an alternative for gays and lesbians struggling with their identities.
Over the weekend, gay rights activists held a counter-conference in Irvine, broadcasting a different message — you can’t pray away the gay.
In the biblical sense, “exodus” means a journey of escape by a large group from oppression or a hostile environment — as in the story of the Israelites’ Exodus from slavery in Egypt.
But critics — including an Exodus co-founder — say Exodus International’s ideology leads to the hostile environment that gay rights activists have been trying for decades to unweave from the social fabric. They also say attempts to treat homosexuals as having a disease is dangerous and could lead to self-harm or suicide.