For the second consecutive year, conservative groups will be observing a month dedicated to spreading awareness of and support for those who formerly identified as homosexual. Known as ex-gay awareness month, the observance will feature events in Washington, D.C. on Friday and Saturday.
Organized by Voice of the Voiceless, an organization that advocates for the rights of former homosexuals, events will include honoring those who are supportive of the ex-gay community, as well as lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill.
Christopher Doyle, president of VoV, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that events will also include workshops and a showing of the film “Sing Over Me.”
Doyle told CP that he believes support for the ex-gay community has improved since last October, with the failure of legislation aimed at criminalizing conversion therapy for minors.
“We have stopped 14 bills in state legislatures across the country that have tried to ban therapy for minors,” Doyle asserted. “People have been telling their stories in much greater number and veracity than last year, when we were reeling from the closure of Exodus International.”
Parents and friends of ex-gays are also helping to organize events for the two-day conference on ex-gay awareness.
Two awards, one for an individual who came out as ex-gay and one for an individual who has defended the ex-gay community, will be handed out on Saturday.
Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX, told CP that this observance “is a chance to provide support to ex-gays and their families as well as to educate the public and our elected officials.”
“The message is certainly getting out that ex-gays exist and that change is possible. At the same time, ex-gays still face those who doubt their existence,” Griggs added.
“PFOX has a long history of supporting the ex-gay community and educating the public. And conferences like this continue to raise awareness of the ex-gay community and the positive message that change is possible.”
Over the past couple years, controversy surrounding the ex-gay community and sexual orientation change therapy, have garnered large scale attention.
In the months leading up to the first ex-gay awareness month held last October, California and New Jersey passed laws criminalizing sexual orientation change therapy for minors.
Also Exodus International, at one time the largest ex-gay ministry in the United States, closed its doors in June 2013 with its last president issuing a public apology to the LGBT community.
Featured speakers for the two-day ex-gay awareness observance in Washington will include Alan Keyes, former ambassador and presidential candidate; Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at Family Research Council; and Sandy Rios, director of government relations for American Family Radio Talk and vice president of Family Pac Federal.
Sponsors for this year’s event include the Liberty Counsel, Family Research Council, American Family Association and Defend Life, among others.