Last Saturday, about 150 gay rights activists gathered to protest a conference aimed at assisting gays and lesbians in removing their homosexual identities, the OC Register reported.

A week earlier, the activists also held a counter-conference and delivered a different message: You can’t pray away the gay.

Last week I wrote a story on the counter-conference — organized by the Christian organization Exodus International — and the fears shared by gay rights activists, who say that organizations like Exodus proselytize teachings that could like to violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“When you repeat the message that gays are sinful, diseased and broken,” said Michael Bussee, who co-founded Exodus but left the movement after becoming disillusioned with its message. “When you keep repeating that message to people who already feel marginalized … it fuels violence against them.”


Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.