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Event to Counter ‘Pray Away Gay’ Conference

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In response to an upcoming event where participants will fight homosexuality with prayer, a local gay-friendly church will host several events to fight the negative stereotypes and educate the Houston community.

On Sept. 10, the famous “ex-gay” organization Exodus International will host its quarterly road show, “Love Won Out,” in Houston.  The event, which will be at Sugar Creek Baptist Church in Sugar Land, promotes the idea that people can “pray away the gay.”  The American Psychological Association announced two years ago that such “reparative therapy” does not work, and only causes more psychological harm to its participants.

In response to the event, Metropolitan Community Church, 2025 West 11th Street in Houston, will host a weeklong series of educational and entertainment events highlighting the harm caused by “ex-gay” programs. The week will conclude with a Saturday protest outside “Love Won Out” and an MCC church service highlighting the values of love, inclusion, diversity, tolerance, pluralism, and acceptance.

MCC has scheduled the following events:

Wed., Sept. 7
7–9 p.m.
Opening Night: Overview of ‘Ex-Gay’ Ministries with Wayne Besen
Resurrection MCC
Presentation followed by a Pastors’ Panel and Q&A Session
“Truth Wins Out” founder Wayne Besen will discuss in an acclaimed multi-media presentation the history of ‘ex-gay’ programs, the techniques used, the key players involved and political context in which these dangerous programs operate. Besen is the architect of the recent undercover operation that revealed that the clinic of Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, practiced “ex-gay” therapy. Besen is the author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth. He has appeared on leading shows including: NBC Nightly News, ABC Nightline, ABC World News Tonight, ABC’s Good Morning America, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Film Screening: “This is What Love in Action Looks Like”
Thurs., Sept. 8
7–9 p.m.
Resurrection MCC
Zach Stark, a gay teenager, was forced by his parents into the Memphis ex-gay ministry, “Love in Action,” against his will. This is What Love in Action Looks Like is a new film that explores the controversial LIA experience and shows how youth are coerced into ex-gay programs. Film director Morgan Jon Fox and interviewee Brandon Tidwell will be available to answer questions about the film and ex-gay programs.

One Man Show: Peterson Toscano
Fri., Sept. 9
7–9 p.m.
Resurrection MCC
Celebrated comedian and actor Peterson Toscano shares his own story of trying to ‘de-gay’ himself and the process he took to integrate his sexuality with all parts of his life. The presentation includes excerpts from original plays including “The Re-Education of George W. Bush,” “Queer 101–Now I Know my gAy,B,Cs”, and “Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House.” Peterson will also share extracts from his newest play, “Transfigurations,” which looks at the stories and lives of transgender Bible characters. Peterson is the co-founder of Beyond Ex-Gay and has been featured on the Montel Williams Show, The Tyra Banks Show, FOX’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, and the BBC.

Protest of Exodus International’s Love Won Out
Sat., Sept. 10
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Outside of Sugar Creek Baptist Church, 13333 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land

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