‘Pray the Gay Away’ Conference Draws Protesters

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.”