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First-hand account of Love Won Out/Palm Springs protest

Ex Gay Watch has photos and a wrap-up on Saturday’s protest against Daddy Dobson’s ex-gay roadshow. An interesting aspect of the account is Daniel’s discussion of the tactics used by the announced protest group, which called itself The Unity Rally.

The Unity Rally was a coalition of liberal political, social and gay rights groups formed to provide a uniform voice in response to Love Won Out. Ex-Gay Watch ultimately decided to speak in our own voice and remain unaffiliated with the Unity Rally coalition. We planted ourselves firmly on the curb by the church’s main driveway and each person was given a sign they had picked the slogan for. Before the Unity Rally buses arrived several other small groups of private individuals arrived.

…Based on the Unity Rally’s website and literature distributed around town I was concerned by their frequent use of the word “hate.” My concerns were confirmed at the rally where two common buzz words worked into almost every speech were “hate” (used in connection with Focus) and “unity” (used in connection with gay folk). Most speakers had limited knowledge of ex-gay issues since most speakers were politicians or representatives of local gay and liberal political groups. However the rally organizers took great pride in their event being a local effort. Focus/Exodus/NARTH were continuously and vaguely accused of spreading hate, hating, creating hate and so forth by speaker after speaker… UNTIL the Rev. Nick Warner of the Desert Oasis Chapel got up had the balls to say something to the effect of “the people attending Love Won Out do not hate you” and that they were just misguided about gay people. The rally crowd seemed stunned by Warner’s radical message and several times during his speech our group from XGW had to start the crowd applauding. Bravo to you Rev. Warner for being informed about ex-gay issues and not going along with the party line and making accusations of “hate.”

I agree with Daniel — these folks missed the mark by declaring Love One Out and other organizations like it hate homos. It’s clear that they honestly believe homosexuality can be “cured” — that’s heinous enough to make note of, particularly because Love Won Out takes advantage of people who are struggling with their sexual orientation in ways that are dangerous and immoral, only reinforcing to those in pain that there is something wrong with them. But that can’t be equated with wanting to kill gays. We can find plenty of those kinds of beasts out there if you search the Blend archives. You can draw a distinction without blunting the fact that LWO and other “ex-gays” who promote their bogus theories are a threat that must be exposed and stopped.

What the “ex-gay” movement is responsible for, however, is promoting the idea that being gay is “sick” or “diseased” — it gives license to the psycho homophobes out there to deal with the “disease” through their own methods, including violence.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding