Pray-Away-the-Gay Speaker at UAF, Students say "Stop the Hate"

Update: The UAF Gay-Straight Alliance used this event to spark a dialogue about the "ex-gays" and earned the support of the Chancellor and the community. Read about it HERE.
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The huge event banner hanging from the stairs in the UAF Wood Center this week reads: "GAY? LONELY? CONFUSED? Hear Ex-Gay Edward Delgado's Compelling True Story: "From Sin's Bondage to Christ's Freedom!" 'Straight' for over 20 years and married to a beautiful wife & has two sons!" The banner also advertises free de-gaying counseling and links to anti-gay websites.

The UAF Campus Bible Ministries is sponsoring the pray-away-the-gay speaker from Exodus International. Delgado is scheduled to speak 14 times in 4 days, on Sept 15-18. He is not one of their regular speakers and is not listed on any Exodus web sites.

Students in the Gay Straight Alliance will hand out information on the truth behind the "ex-gay" lies, and peacefully protest during the speeches. They also want the offensive banner to be removed.

"We aren't looking to stop the speaker, as he does have the right to speak," writes GSA member Jessi Angelette, "but the banner is uncalled for. Many people from staff to students are offended by it and are working to have the banner removed."

The GSA will be tabling on the theme "Stop the Hate" on Tuesday from 12 to 2 p.m. in the Wood Center Mall. They asked to table all week, but were told the table space was all booked up. (Who reserved so many tables for this event?) Instead, they will peacefully protest outside on Wed., Thurs. and Friday.

LGBT-supportive students, staff and Fairbanks community members are invited to join the GSA. They will gather each day at the Wood Center before the first speech, around 10 a.m. on Wed. & Friday, and 11 a.m. on Thurs. Several students plan to attend one of the speeches "all rainbowed up."

People everywhere can help by emailing the following people about taking down the offensive banner: UAF Chancellor Rogers; the Director of UAF's Office of Equal Opportunity, Earlina Bowden; and the Board of Regents (Cynthia Henry, Chair or the full Board contact list.) In your message to the Board of Regents, please also mention the need to add sexual orientation to the UA system's anti-discrimination policies.

The American Psychological Association released a report in August saying that pray-away-the-gay therapies do not work and can lead to depression or suicide. Instead, the APA encourages therapists to try other options for helping clients, like support networks, education on gay issues, or switching churches.

In the video below, three former leaders of Exodus International, including co-founder Michael Busse, explain the failure of "ex-gay" counseling methods and give a public apology for the harm they caused to gays and lesbians while working for Exodus:

8 comments:

Paul Adasiak said...

Hey, I hate the pray-away-the-gay campaign of lies and self-hatred as much as the next person. But is a restriction of these organizations' First-Amendment rights really called for -- or the best solution?

The banner does not pose any imminent harm to its readers, nor does it even make any derogatory remarks about homosexuality that would constitute a hostile environment.

The solution, as I see it, is not less speech, but more: Why can't the campus gay/lesbian advocacy group (they used to be called AGLA, but were more recently called The Gay Club; are they now the GSA?) put up a banner of its own with a few bullet points addressing the dangers of "heterosexual conversion" and the lies put forth by its proponents?

Cady said...

with all due respect "from sin's bondage" is on the sign and seems pretty hostile

allowing "opinions" about whether or not gay people are ok is so last decade

this is ridiculous

Paul Adasiak said...

Of course, it's an old saw in Christianity that we're all sinners. I think that "From Sin's Bondage to Christ's Freedom" has to be read in that context; it could really refer to people's "freeing" in any number of ways. Sure, you and I know what they really mean is, "Homos are the devil" -- but they didn't come out and say that, and their right to free expression (at not only an academic institution, but a state-funded one) demands that we give them the benefit of the doubt.

"allowing 'opinions' about whether or not gay people are ok is so last decade"

And the First Amendment is so 18th-century.

Helen said...

This is the best video. Thanks for this. It sounds almost as bad as ex-Scientologists who report about the mind trips...the groupthink domination over ethics, the mindset, the denial... A lot like a regular cult.

E. Ross said...

Paul - You wrote: "Why can't the campus gay/lesbian advocacy group ... put up a banner of its own with a few bullet points addressing the dangers of "heterosexual conversion" and the lies put forth by its proponents?"

Good idea. Any ideas on how the student group could raise the money to pay for that banner and get it printed before Friday?

Since you are in Fairbanks, it would be great if you contacted Jessi and the Gay Straight Alliance and offered to help them.

Thanks.

Zeb said...

"Why can't the campus gay/lesbian advocacy group ... put up a banner of its own with a few bullet points addressing the dangers of "heterosexual conversion" and the lies put forth by its proponents?"

because that is not necessary? conversion isn't realistic or even based in science... why not put up a banner saying the earth is not flat? or water is wet?

a banner against "heterosexual conversion" only gives credence to the pseudo-science of "heterosexual conversion" ... it is a myth. why counter complete nonsense with fact?

it is a slippery slope. an inane slippery slope... but a slippery slope nonetheless.

if anything... a banner saying actual facts based on millennial-old anecdotal tales and current biological facts.

no need to go "point"/counter-point... when the original "point" is based on a most-likely fictional book of parables.

most the anti-gay things in the bible are in passing even. mildew control and menstruation and divorce have MUCH more lines and controls that homosexuality. and that is just in the old testament.

the new testament ret-cons a lot of those rules anyway.

Paul Adasiak said...

E. Ross: "Any ideas on how the student group could raise the money to pay for that banner and get it printed before Friday?"

As I read this Wednesday morning, there isn't much time left to design and make a banner. But, if action had begun Monday afternoon (and perhaps it had?), something might be up already.

I assume that the GSA has funding from people's student activity fees allocated to them as a student organization. (I could be wrong there; I was never involved in student organizations.) But aren't most posters and banners at UAF made with butcher paper and marker? That shouldn't be so costly.

Zeb: "a banner against "heterosexual conversion" only gives credence to the pseudo-science of "heterosexual conversion" ... it is a myth. why counter complete nonsense with fact?"

Good point. It really would dignify their agenda. How about countering complete nonsense with more nonsense? A banner that looked similar but espoused something ludicrous ("Round-Earther? Lonely? Confused?" "From Copernicus's Bondage to Christ's Freedom!") might make a better point.

E. Ross: "Since you are in Fairbanks, it would be great if you contacted Jessi and the Gay Straight Alliance and offered to help them."

Done and done. Incidentally, if anybody in Fairbanks needs the services of a librarian (i.e., a Jedi Knight of the information world), I can volunteer my non-work time for the agenda of equality. Find me here. (Incidentally, librarians should always be willing to help you, if only you go to them.)

E. Ross said...

Interesting points: slippery slopes and freedom of speech... humor as an educational tool.

I do wonder tho, would the response have been the same if the banner said something like: "JEWISH? LONELY? CONFUSED? Hear Ex-Jew Edward Green's Compelling True Story: "From Sin's Bondage to Christ's Freedom!" Christian for over 20 years..."

Paul - thanks for contacting the GSA, and for the generous librarian/Jedi Knight offer! I saw the wonderful banner the GSA put up next to the ex-gay nastiness - did you help with that?

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