Groups that were planning to host "Ex-Gay Pride Month" festivities are now coming forward to announce that a planned reception has been delayed until September following threats of violence. Unlike "pride" events which commemorate homosexual culture (generally held in cities around the globe in June of each year), this new ex-gay initiative is aimed at giving recognition to individuals who have left the homosexual lifestyle.
The planned reception that was set for July 31 was originally slated to take place at the Family Research Council headquarters, where ex-gay leaders and supporters were planning to coalesce. The event -- the first "Ex-Gay Pride Month" celebration ever -- has hit some roadblocks, though.
Threats of violence are being taken seriously, especially following the shooting attack that took place at FRC, a conservative organization that believes in traditional marriage, back in 2012.
Photo Credit: EqualityAndJusticeForAll.org
Information about the event before the details were changed noted that political leaders would potentially be joining in on the July 31 festivities:
To celebrate this historic month and day of lobbying in Washington, D.C., VoV is also co-hosting an evening dinner and reception with Equality and Justice for All at Family Research Counsel Action. Invited speakers include Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, Former Senator Jim Demint, Liberty Counsel's Matt Staver, Congressman Tim Huelskamp, and several prominent leaders in the ex-gay and faith communities.
Now, though, these elements are changing.
"When we announced that this event was going to happen at FRC about two weeks ago, we received -- as did FRC -- a lot of attention, which was good, but we also received a lot of negative attention," Christopher Doyle, the co-founder of Voice of the Voiceless (VoV), an anti-defamation group for ex-gays, told the Christian Post. "Some liberal news organizations, like the Huffington Post, started saying things about this event that weren't true, like it was being sponsored and run by FRC just because FRC was the venue. And that wasn't true at all."
This information, Doyle maintains, caused some critics to get upset. From e-mails to phone calls, his group received a massive response; the ex-gay advocate also charges that there were discussions on social media about attempting to interfere with the event, to demonstrate against it and to protest it.
"Basically, after experiencing all of that hate and harassment toward us online and also directed at FRC, we just started to take a second look at this event," he added, noting that threats played a role in the decision.
The groups organizing the event will seek out a new venue for the reception and will dedicate the entire month of September to advancing ex-gay awareness. While some of the remaining events that were scheduled for the end of July will still unfold as previously planned (it's unclear which events will unfold), September will be the month of the biggest and main events.
One of the core messages that Doyle and his group want to progress is that the ex-gay community is discriminated against -- many times by members of the LBGTQ community.
"Ex-gays are being discriminated against, and the LGBT population is not the only one experiencing that type of rejection and harassment," he told the Post.
(H/T: Christian Post)
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