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Why 'ex-gay' programs like Love in Action are immoral

Zach’s parents have shipped him off to an ‘ex-gay’ re-education camp.

We believe the scripture is the final truth and authority concerning all matters of morality, as well as the hope and healing for morality in dilemma. We acknowledge the sinfulness of any sexual act outside of the scriptural context of Holy Matrimony between a man and a woman. We uphold Christ’s offer of redemption and freedom to all who come to Him.
from Love in Action‘s ‘doctrine

This post will tell you exactly why we have to continue to fight the American Taliban, the Dominionists, that absolutely unhinged element that is trying to take over our culture and invade every aspect of our lives. Homosexuality isn’t destroying the family, it’s institutions like the “ex-gay” movement that want to emotionally and psychologically destroy gay people. These are gay people who are still trying to come to grips with their orientation; by crushing them with guilt and hellfire, the ex-gay movement represents the height of immorality.

A 16-year-old boy named Zach in Tennessee recently came out to his parents. It didn’t go well. In fact, it resulted in him being sent to one of those “ex-gay” re-education holes.

Somewhat recently, as many of you know, I told my parents I was gay. This didn’t go over very well, and it ended with my dad crying, my mom tearing, and me not knowing what I’d done – or what to do. It kind of.. went away for about a week or two I think. They claim it’s beause they didn’t want to interfere with my last week or two of school.

Yesterday they told me that I couldn’t go anywhere until I got a job. Out of the blue. Because I’m the most irresponsible child my dad knows – as he told me – mainly because I forget to unload the dishwasher sometimes… it doesn’t matter that I have to clean up after my sisters and myself everyday. It just doesn’t.

Well today, my mother, father, and I had a very long “talk” in my room where they let me know I am to apply for a fundamentalist christian program for gays. They tell me that there is something psychologically wrong with me, and they “raised me wrong.” I’m a big screw up to them, who isn’t on the path God wants me to be on. So I’m sitting here in tears, joing the rest of those kids who complain about their parents on blogs – and I can’t help it.

This sick program, “Refuge,” is part of Love in Action‘s call to the confused homosexual to return to Christ, and with it, the blessing of heterosexuality – since of course, they lump being gay with alcoholism, drug abuse and other addictive behaviors.

Love In Action International exists on a beautiful 5 acre “park like” setting on the northern edge of Memphis in an area called Raleigh. We have 19,000 square feet of space in three buildings. On the grounds we have four intimate prayer gardens, hundreds of beautiful trees, two peaceful reflective chapels, and a baseball field! Our property is located just one and one half miles north of I-40 and conveniently located for any travelers. Refuge is an intensive program designed to minister to adolescents struggling with broken and addictive behaviors, such as promiscuity, alcohol & drug addiction and homosexuality.
— from LIA’s page on Refuge

There is nothing resembling love in the actions of this organization, just the bullsh*t, brainwashing and destruction of the human spirit that Love in Action forces upon its participants. The Religious Right harps on “saving the children”…if this is how they save the children, the people running these “ex-gay” ministries need to be locked up.

* LIA wants to encourage each client, male and female, by affirming his/her gender identity. LIA also wants each client to pursue integrity in all of his/her actions and appearances. Therefore, any belongings, appearances, clothing, actions, or humor that might connect a client to an inappropriate past are excluded from the program. These hindrances are called False Images (FI¹s). FI behavior may include hyper-masculinity, seductive clothing, mannish/boyish attire (on women), excessive jewelry (on men), mascoting, and “campy” or gay/lesbian behavior and talk.

* As non-residential clients, Refuge participants must submit to an F.I. search every morning. With the exception of the very first program day, when they may arrive no later than 9:00 a.m., Refuge clients will arrive daily at the Love in Action campus no later than 8:50 a.m., waiting in a designated area until a staff member meets them to perform the F.I. search and check them in. Refuge clients may not enter any of the client spaces on campus before submitting to an F.I. search. All belongings brought to campus will be searched, including book bags, notebooks, wallets, handbags, purses, etc. Items that violate the F.I. policy or the dress code will be held for the client, to be returned no later than the client¹s last day in program. Clients may request to have their F.I. items returned by filling out a C.O.C.

* All photographs will be taken for the purpose of sobering re-evaluation. Clients may request to have pictures returned to them via C.O.C.

* Refuge clients will not be allowed to use personally owned computers during the program, whether on campus or at home/in temporary lodging. Computer stations are normally available on campus when clients need to type something.

* Clients should report all FI’s (with discretion), whether their own or another’s, to staff.

* Due to the nature of many gender identity struggles, issues of enmeshment and emotional dependency can develop not only with same sex, but sometimes even more easily with the opposite sex. Because healthy and appropriate same and opposite-sex relationships are encouraged, dating and exclusive relationships of any kind are prohibited while in the program.

* Clients may have no contact with anyone who has left the program prior to graduating without the blessing of the staff to do so. Clients may address off-limit persons they inadvertently encounter with a polite “hello” only.

* While in the program, clients may have no contact with anyone involved in unrepentant emotional dependencies, inappropriate sexual behaviors, or chemical dependencies. This includes any contact with friends struggling with dependency issues or inappropriate sexual behavior that was known about prior to entering the program. If such a person is encountered, the client must make his/her staff worker aware of this.

For adult, let alone gay kids, going into this kind of program is a living hell, and his parents should be charged with abuse. Zach is in despair…

What is with these people…? Honestly.. how could you support a program like this? If I do come out straight I’ll be so mentally unstable and depressed it wont matter.. I’ll be back in therapy again. This is not good–

Zach runs away as the time for him to be committed nears. Tell me, what does this say about family values wh
en a parent can see that they are damaging their child, but are reinforced in their behavior by their social institutions to continue doling out the emotional pain and abuse?

I came back and they took everything from me, they don’t want me to have outside influences– i dont know how long im going to be on, because if tehy wake up, im screwed. The program starts June 6 and is until either teh 17th or the 20th. I’m sorry I don’t have time to write back o all of the comments and messages. I’m just here to let everyone know I am still alive, I’m sure you’ve left messages on my cellphone, they took that.. and my keys… and the computer.. and I’ve been homebound. -=sigh=- I just need this to be over. Don’t worry. I’ll get through this. They’ve promised me things will get better whether this program does anything or not. Let’s hope they aren’t lying. I’ve been through hell. I’ve been emotionally torn apart for three days… I can’t remember which days they were.. time’s not what it used to be.

…My mother has said the worst things to me for three days straight… three days. I went numb. That’s the only way I can get through this. I agree, if you’re thinking that these posts might be dramatized.. but the proof of the programs ideas are sitting in the rules. I pray this blows over. I can’t take this… noone can… not really, this kind of thing tears you apart emotionally. To introduce THIS subject… I’m not a suicidal person… really I’m not.. I think it’s stupid – really. But.. I can’t help it, no im not going to commit suicide, all I can think about is killing my mother and myself. It’s so horrible. This is what it’s doing to me… I have this horrible feeling all of the time… I wish this on no person… I’m so satisfied–happy’s too strong of a word the state I’m in– that everyone’s taking the time to email and write letters in complaint to these people. I dont know if it will do anything, but if something did happen it would be — awesome.

Zach’s blog is here. Visit and share some love. One can only hope he can still access his blog to receive the support.

And well, these people…they are just evil:
Love In Action International Inc.
4780 Yale Road – Memphis, TN 38128
(901) 751-2468
The Love In Action team:

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