Monthly Archives: June 2014

Sign the Petition and Tell the Washington, D.C. Council to Vote NO for Bill 20-501

On Friday, June 27, 2014 the Washington, D.C. City Council will hold a committee hearing to consider legislation to ban therapy for minors who seek to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions. If you are in the Washington, D.C. area and wish to testify, please contact Christopher Doyle at cdoyle@voiceofthevoiceless.info. Your intent to testify must be e-mailed by Wednesday.

Those who wish to testify should contact Rayna Smith, Committee Director to the Committee on Health, at 202-741-2111 or via e-mail at rsmith@dccouncil.us, and provide their name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. If submitted by the close of business on Wednesday, June 25, 2014, the testimony will be distributed to Councilmembers before the hearing. Witnesses should limit their testimony to four minutes; less time will be allowed if there are a large number of witnesses.

Sign the Petition

Bill 20-501 would prohibit a licensed mental health practitioner in Washington, D.C. from offering counseling or psychotherapy to a minor that has unwanted same-sex attractions and seeks to change his/her homosexual orientation. It would also take away the rights of parents to choose a licensed mental health care provider for their children that is consistent with their religious and/or spiritual values, if their child wants to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions and seek sexual orientation change.

Vote “NO” for Bill 20 – 501, the ” Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act of 2013″

Dear Council member,

Bill 20-501 would take away the rights of minors to receive counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions, even if those attractions resulted from sexual abuse or molestation from a sexual predator.

This bill would also take away the rights of parents to choose a licensed mental health provider that aligns with their family’s religious and spiritual values on the issue of homosexuality.

The freedom to exercise religion is embedded in the Constitution of the United States, and as citizens, we have the right to seek out medical and mental health care that is consistent with our religious and spiritual values.

Taking away the rights of our family and children to seek out counseling from highly trained licensed mental health providers who specialize in counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions is governmental intrusion into our families.

Please vote “NO” for Bill 20-501 and respect the rights of parents to make the proper decisions for their children’s mental health! We know what is best for our children, not the government!

Sincerely,

Click Here To Sign

Out of the Ashes of Exodus International, Hope for Wholeness Network Arises

 

Nat. Conference Proclaims Freedom from Homosexuality through Jesus Christ

exodus-international-EVENT-love-won-out1For nearly forty years, Exodus International bore the name of the largest Christian ministry offering hope to individuals struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction. But last year, its President, Alan Chambers, held their final national summer conference, announcing the end of the organization’s ministry to homosexually oriented individuals seeking an alternative to accepting a gay identity.

To many within the ex-gay movement, it was not a shock. Over the last few years, Chambers had been moving away from a developmental therapeutic approach to ministry that encouraged healing and change, to one of discipleship that emphasized holiness and chastity. As a result, many leaders within the movement began to grow uneasy with Chambers’ diluted rhetoric, confused by public statements such as “99.9% of same-sex attracted individuals do not change (to opposite sex attraction).”

Still, others within the movement were more concerned with his speaking engagements at conferences like the Gay Christian Network (GCN), where he began to offer what some considered a message of “hyper grace” to gay-identified Christians dissatisfied with Exodus ministries. Rather than providing Biblical truth, many believed Chambers was placating to more inclusive organizations such as GCN that embraced same-sex romantic relationships as an acceptable Christian practice.

As these events unfolded, a slow stream of dedicated leaders and ministries around the country had begun to resign from the once powerful ex-gay network, recognizing a dramatic shift in message that seemed to embrace the gay Christian without emphasizing a necessity to repent of sin and move away from homosexual behavior. But the straw that broke the camel’s back occurred when Chambers appeared on Oprah Winfrey Network’s Our America with Lisa Ling, where he publicly apologized to a group of former ministry participants who were angry at their own lack of sexual orientation change they claimed Exodus promised.

While it wasn’t necessarily inappropriate to express remorse to these individuals, who truly felt hurt and disappointed at what they believed were broken promises and inadequate solutions for their struggle. But the way Chambers collaborated in the filming process with figures like Michael Bussee, one of the co-founders of Exodus in the 1970s who later recanted his belief that change was possible and went on to live a gay life, was more than disingenuous. Indeed, the individuals on the show like Bussee were not simply disheartened participants seeking resolution, but angry activists with an axe to grind.

The whole show was a dramatically staged production to provide justification for what Chambers had already decided to do months prior – bury an organization that once provided hope and healing for many truly convicted Christians struggling with their sexuality. Rather than acknowledge the organization’s successful aspects, apologize for what went wrong, and seek to correct its flaws, Chambers stopped flying the plane, got out of the cockpit, and let it crash. Truly, he should have just grounded the vehicle and allowed more qualified individuals to fix the mechanical issues.

At that point, a mass exodus of member ministries ensued, just one month before Chambers announced the official dissolution of the organization at its final summer conference. In the aftermath of Exodus’ demise, the carnage left behind was more than devastating to the hundreds of ministries and its tens of thousands of participants. The few ministries who remained were in disbelief, confused, and grief stricken. Many struggling with homosexuality became disillusioned while endless media reports rejoiced over the death of the biggest “gay cure” network.

But out of the ashes of this implosion arose several new national networks; one of them is called Hope for Wholeness. This weekend, I had the pleasure to attend its first national conference in Black Mountain, North Carolina. At first, the gathering seemed a lot like Exodus 2.0. Praise and worship opened the first night’s session, followed by powerful testimonies of those leaving homosexuality and a witty dramatic presentation on family dysfunction by Acts of Renewal, a husband-wife team bearing stories of healing from sexual brokenness and bulimia.

While I never previously attended one of these summer conferences, I did notice some striking characteristics out of the new leader that was both encouraging and refreshing. McKrae Game is not a professional counselor. He is not a political activist. He is not a polished speaker, and he is not an intellect. But he is compassionate, he is real, and he has a heart for God.

He is open about his weaknesses and does not hide his ongoing recovery from same-sex attraction. In fact, he openly admits that ridding himself of homosexual desires is not a goal for his recovery. Rather, his heart is to understand the meaning of his same-sex desires and obey God’s calling on his life to remain faithful to his loving wife of twenty-three years and their two teenage children.

At a time where the Christian community is being torn a part by endless debates of same-sex marriage, and the church is confused about how to minister to the homosexually oriented, the tone and tenor of Game’s leadership in this network’s first national conference was a breath of fresh air. In fact, he reminded me of Pope Francis’s recent comments towards gay-identified Christians.

While ideologues on both sides of the aisle have recently kept score on the slightest hint of doctrinal change towards homosexuality in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis avoided the political game when asked for clarification on his attitudes towards gay-identified Christians, by stating: “Love God and love your neighbor.” That’s it! Game and Hope for Wholeness, while staying consistent to a traditional Biblical view of sexuality, gave off this same vibe during its four-day conference in North Carolina.

While the keynote speakers were energetic and inspiring, some of the highlights happened in the many breakout sessions I attended. Janelle Hallman, PhD, who specializes in working with same-sex attracted women, gave an emotional talk about her desire for unity and love for all those ministering to those struggling with homosexuality. She wondered how the ex-gay movement would continue to stay alive with the recent demise of Exodus and ongoing fracture between the therapeutic and faith-based community:

Unfortunately, there are so few places to talk freely, and it’s wearing on me. How do we find unity amidst diversity? What is God’s desire for us as real lovers of Jesus? Most of my friends in these different camps (Christian ministries and professional therapists) are all lovers of Jesus, but they’re going in different directions. Is change possible? Should we even use that word ‘change’? Over the years, I have seen these groups polarized against each other, arguing and defending their position. All the while, the Christian clients (struggling with homosexuality) we serve…their experiences continue to be marginalized.

Other leaders, such as Tom Cole, who came out of homosexuality and has been married to his wife for over thirty years, taught a group of men what it really means to be masculine, and how men should throw away cultural stereotypes to focus on the true meaning of manhood. “Our masculine authority is not for us; it’s for others, the people who we love and serve in our families and communities, to protect them.”

While the giant head of the ex-gay movement may have been cut off in 2013, a new lion has emerged with several different crowns in order to carry the banner, including Hope for Wholeness, Restored Hope Network, Overcomers Network, and Voice of the Voiceless. Although far smaller than the 1,000 participants that attended summer conferences in the prime of Exodus’ ministry, the renewed faith and enthusiasm among the more than 100 participants at the Hope for Wholeness conference was a bold response to those pronouncing the demise of ministries reaching out to those with unwanted same-sex attractions. As McKrae Game said in a June 3rd press release: “Exodus International may be dead, but hope is rising in North Carolina this week as national leaders proclaim freedom from homosexuality!” (Note: This article was originally published on June 9, 2014 at: http://barbwire.com/2014/06/09/ashes-exodus-international-hope-wholeness-network-arises/#X9fc6pHBKLWWsQtO.99)

Christopher Doyle is the President of Voice of the Voiceless, the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families. His work has been featured in USA Today, Associated Press, The Washington Post, NBC News, The Christian Post, and many more. For more information, visit: www.VoiceoftheVoiceless.info.

 

Why Texas Matters: Affirming Therapy Equality a necessary protection for EXLGBT Americans

Texas Resolution

The fight for therapy equality and affirming equal access to counseling options in Texas is no longer just a dream thanks to the courageous actions of the Texas Republican Party. As a native Texan and a 24 year EXLGBT American, Im elated to write about it.

Johnathan Saenz of Texas Values Action told KERA News, “Texas Republicans want to make clear: If a parent wants to take their child and have a discussion with a counselor about their questions about sexuality, they should have the freedom to do that.”

The resolution reads in part:
“…we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle…”

Bucking the trend to punish citizens who seek counseling for unwanted same sex attractions —and the professionals who want to help them— the Texas GOP took an unusual step and voted to affirm therapy equality. The move would have made African American Texas GOP pioneer Norris Wright Cuney (1846-1898) proud. When Cuney and other African Americans were building the party in Texas, passion to build a better social and economic future for African Americans was the catalyst that birthed their innovative drive. At that time, there existed no promises of “affirmative action” to lull them into complacency. What they did face was the consistent attacks of the Democrat-led Klan who conspired at every turn to block access to the well being of black American citizens.

There was strong and widespread support for passage of the resolution among Texas conservatives, perhaps fed up with the anti-American actions of liberals who continue to deny rights and suppress hope for potential millions of Americans seeking avenues to change sexual and emotional dysfunctions. Rape, molestation and sexual abuse have been at the root of much sexual confusion. The New Jersey legislation was dubbed the “Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act”, because opponents contended it would prevent victims of abuse and molestation who subsequently developed homosexual inclinations, from getting much needed counseling.

Equality Matters

Much of the therapy discrimination is based on nonscientific political posturing. To date, there has been no recognizable scientific evidence or research demonstrating that therapy (or ministry) to individuals seeking change from homosexuality is harmful or ineffective.

American citizens who seek therapy and ministry options to help them live out their identity has been under attack. In California and New Jersey, unnecessarily punitive laws have been passed depriving hurting parents of the opportunity to help their OWN children get professional counseling to overcome unwanted same gender sexual desires. In nine other states, serious attempts have been made to deprive tax-paying Americans of the freedom to seek ssa counseling.

The driving force behind this historic move was Jeremy Schwab of Dallas, himself a beneficiary of therapy and counseling. He’s taken a more proactive, positive role in fighting discrimination against EXLGBT Americans.

Schwab found that necessity was the mother of activism.

“Activists have drafted a bill to be introduced in all 50 states which will ban or severely restrict access to Reparative Therapy and all other SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) including religious counseling. A similar bill is currently under review in the British Parliament which goes much further,” he said.

Said Schwab, “After California and New Jersey passed these laws last year, I began reaching out to Republican State Legislators and State Senators to discuss the law. In Washington State, the bill flew through their House without any opposition from Republicans, but once we talked with the GOP state senators and they came to understand the full story, they stood up and blocked this awful bill. The same has been the case now for eleven other states.

In each case, it took significant efforts to educate GOP legislators and rally grassroots support before their GOP lawmakers realized the importance of this issue to religious freedom. Since this bill is being introduced in all 50 states, it is a critical and unique addition to the State GOP which is not fully covered by the current language.”

That’s why what happened in Texas matters. State legislatures must understand that its immoral to enshrine into law deprivation of therapy equality. No American should have to go day after day tortured and suicidal because he or she has been told there are no options and no choices for them. LGBT Americans have the freedom to seek counseling to affirm their homosexual behavior and its big business. The San Francisco based Gaylesta, a “GLBTQ Psychotherapy Association” lists some 250 mental health professionals available to homosexuals. Why are EXGLBT Americans treated differently? Why give some unlimited options for personal happiness but deprive others of even one hopeful avenue of change? Why is the fate of their happiness and the happiness of their families placed in the hands of people who despise them? Aren’t all Americans guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

This isn’t empty complaining, but the stark reality that in America homosexual activists are pursuing legal tools to punish people who simply want freedom from a crippling sexual and emotional condition.

Pastor Darryl L. (DL) Foster is the Co-Founder of Voice of the Voiceless and an ordained minister, husband, father, and self-described abolitionist pastor. In 1990, he left homosexuality to follow Christ and subsequently founded Witness Ministries, Inc. a prominent Christian outreach focused on helping people of color gain their freedom in Christ. In 2010, he also founded and organized the Overcomers Network, an Atlanta based EXGLBT empowerment organization with chapters in 18 US cities.

Massachusetts Change Therapy Bill Stalls Due to Efforts from Ex-Gays and Concerned Parents

Concerned citizens in Massachusetts lobby against the Change Therapy Bill in May.

Today, MassResistance published a through report of the recent lobbying efforts from a number of ex-gays and concerned citizens in Massachusetts to fight H3907, which would ban counseling for minors who seek to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions. Having worked with the folks at MassResistance and their volunteers, it is exciting to hear just how much of an impact the assistance Voice of the Voiceless, Equality And Justice For All, and PFOX has had in helping them stall this bill and reroute it into the Ways and Means Committee, which we anticipate will ultimately lead to its death. Below is portion of the report from MassResistance:

The parents and ex-gays who lobbied met with key legislators, saying the following:

 

They described in detail the horrific problems this ban would cause to innocent, vulnerable youth — many of whom were had been molested or experienced some sort of sexual trauma — who need professional help to heal and properly cope. Children and teenagers who desperately want and need counseling would be denied it if the homosexual activists’ bill were to become law.

The MassResistance group came heavily armed with solid information, including materials from the national ex-gay groups PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays) and Equality and Justice for All. In particular, Christopher Doyle, president of the ex-gay group Voice of the Voiceless, was most valuable in supplying material.

The report then went onto to discuss the recent history of these bills:

 

At first it was very effective. The first two bills sailed through the California legislature, and then the New Jersey legislature, and got signed by both governors. That took everyone by surprise, and pro-family people were stunned and outraged.

But then things started to turn around. Helped by prominent ex-gay movement leaders, including activists such as Christopher Doyle and others, local pro-family groups began to get informed and fight back effectively. And it’s worked. Despite the overwhelming resources the homosexual lobby has used to push these bills, after California and New Jersey everything has changed.

The LGBT lobby was unprepared for the diversity of people ultimately turned off by these bills. Despite the very emotional , deceptive, misleading and outright false arguments being used, once people find out what the bills really do they are very unpopular across a broad political spectrum. Many legislators who normally vote liberal and “pro-gay” back off this one, especially once they see how unfair, “anti-choice”, and unscientific the bills are.

As of now, here’s the rest of the tally. These are some of the untold recent victories of the pro-family movement:Rejected by state legislatures in 8 states: Virginia, Maryland, Washington, Minnesota, Illinois, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island.

On a path to be rejected in 5 states and DC: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, New York, District of Columbia, and Massachusetts.

Up in the air: Vermont.

To read the entire report, click here.

Christopher Doyle is the President of Voice of the Voiceless, the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families. For more information, visit: www.VoiceoftheVoiceless.info 

 

 

Former Presidential Candidate Alan Keyes to Keynote Ex-Gay Awareness Conference

2nd Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month to Feature Lobbying and Conference on October 3-4

 

Sing Over Me_Poster_mediumIn observance of Ex-Gay Awareness Month, Voice of the Voiceless is pleased to announce that former United States Presidential candidate, Ambassador Alan Keyes, will keynote the second annual gathering of former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families in our nation’s capitol on October 3-4, 2014. The conference is co-hosted by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), the nation’s leading advocacy organization for the ex-gay community, and Equality And Justice For All, the only lobbying organization solely dedicated to protecting and preserving the rights of the ex-gay community.

“We are thrilled to have Ambassador Keyes join us for this important gathering in Washington, D.C.,” commented Christopher Doyle, President of Voice of the Voiceless, the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families. “Ambassador Keyes has been a champion for social conservatism and a reasoned and compassionate voice when it comes to homosexuality. His insight and perspective on social justice for ex-gays is sure to inspire.”

Keyes, who ran for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2000, will be joined by an all-star lineup of social conservatives at the October 4th conference, including Sandy Rios, host of American Family Radio’s syndicated talk show Sandy Rios in the Morning, Matt Barber, founder of Barbwire.com and Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action, and Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council.

“2014 has already been an incredible year for the ex-gay community! We have witnessed a remarkable enthusiasm among former homosexuals around the country to defend the rights of individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions to receive therapy to overcome homosexual feelings,” commented Doyle. “Thus far, our lobbying efforts and educational awareness campaigns have led to the defeat of at least ten bills in states across the country where gay activists have been trying to take clients’ rights away. Ex-Gay Awareness 2014 will celebrate this year’s achievements, and cast a vision of where the ex-gay community is going in 2015 and beyond. Our movement is stronger than ever, and we are excited at what this conference represents to former homosexuals and those seeking hope and freedom from homosexuality.”

On Friday, conference attendees will have the opportunity to talk with their Congressional representatives and Senators about ex-gay rights on Capitol Hill, with an evening reception featuring the Washington, D.C. premiere of Dennis Jernigan’s new documentary film “Sing Over Me.” On Saturday, Ambassador Alan Keyes will keynote the conference in the morning, followed by a series of breakout sessions and an afternoon luncheon and awards ceremony, honoring courageous former homosexuals and defenders of ex-gay rights.

Tickets for the two-day conference are only $99 ($89 before September 1) and can be purchased at: http://pfox.org/conference-oct2014.html. For more information on the event and to download a conference flyer, click here. If your organization is interested in becoming a sponsor, a special breakfast with Ambassador Alan Keyes on Saturday morning will be offered. For more information, click here to download the sponsorship flyer.

 

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Voice of the Voiceless is the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families. For more information, visit: www.VoiceoftheVoiceless.info