The “ex-gay” group Exodus International held its quarterly Love Won Out convention near Houston this weekend. The Houston Chronicle reports that about 450 people attended the conference at Sugar Creek Baptist Church in Sugarland:
Outside the church, dozens of protesters lined up near the Southwest Freeway to complain about the group’s message. Exodus president Alan Chambers argued the group is anything but anti-gay.
“The fact of the matter, I was gay, the people who are leading these ministries were gay,” Chambers said. “We know what anti-gay felt like. That is something we could never be. And so for us, because of our faith and because of our beliefs and because of our experience, decided we wanted something different.”
The group holds the Love Won Out conferences four times a year throughout the country. And wherever Exodus International heads, critic Wayne Besen follows, gathering locals to protest the group.
Besen, the founder of Truth Wins Out and author of Anything but Straight, has been countering Exodus International’s image of homosexuality for several years. “They present it to be a miserable life that is either going to end in death or loneliness or unhappiness and that’s not true,” he said. “You are entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to your own facts.”
Besen reports on TWO’s blog that it may have been a record low turnout for Love Won Out.
The event included an officer from the Sugar Land police force that deliberately harassed and ticketed me for allegedly jaywalking. It was clear that this was rogue cop with an attitude problem. The other officers on the scene had been easy to get along with. There were also a few fundamentalists who came into the protest to argue scripture, showing that they were both ignorant of the Bible and homosexuality.
While our protest was a success, Love Won Out continues its decline, with perhaps a record low attendance of 450 people in the nation’s fourth largest city. The failure of Exodus at home is one reason the hate group is increasingly pushing its destructive message overseas in nations where LGBT people are unable to defend themselves for fear of persecution and even violence.
Watch video from TWO’s protest below.