Sunday, November 7, 2010

Brody's Notes... LGBT Activists & Bloggers Protest 'Ex-Gay' Convention In Philadelphia

Wayne Besen Interviewed At  NARTH Protest  Photo By Joe Jervis
By Mark Singer (Washington DC) NOV 7 | A large group of protesters including members of Equality Pennsylvania, gathered Saturday morning in front of the Renaissance Philadelphia Airport Hotel, to register their displeasure and opposition to a tiny anti-gay annual conference, hosted by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, (NARTH), a controversial Anti-Gay group headed by a professor from a small Christian Day College in Florida, Julie Hamilton.
Organized by Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen, accompanied by prominent New York bloggers Joe Jervis (Joe.My.God), and Jeremy Hooper (Good As You), the protest activists stood across from the main entrance to the hotel greeting the conference's participants as they arrived. Blogger Joe Jervis gave an account of the day on his website:
Today I participated in the Truth Wins Out protest at NARTH's annual convention in Philadelphia, where TWO's Wayne Besen led a chanting crowd of activists on the sidewalk outside their host hotel. Many of NARTH's attendees took turns peering at us from the windows, but hid from us (in shame) otherwise. However Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber, a speaker at the event, spent quite some time glowering at us from the front sidewalk.
When I first arrived, I got some shots of NARTH attendees inside the hotel, causing one to rush over yelling that I'd be arrested for "stalking" if I didn't leave. Which I did, but I still got to "stalk" some of these baby-killers out to their cars, as you'll see below. (Linked Here) The tall bald guy is Christopher Doyle, an "ex-gay" who is on the board of PFOX and who is on staff with "ex-gay" whackadoodle Richard Cohen as a "Sexual Reorientation Coach" at the International Healing Foundation. If that wasn't enough for this professionally "former" c********r, he writes newspaper editorials arguing against the Day Of Silence. Anyway, I don't think pillow-whacker Richard Cohen has totally gotten Doyle in touch with his "natural masculine nature," because when I kept taking photos, Doyle put his hand on his hip and hissed, "I don't need this. Why don't you just sssssssstop!"
The theme of the protest was "Lift My Luggage," a subtle reference to former NARTH board member George Rekers, who was forced to resign last May. Rekers stepped down after he was caught vacationing with a male escort he met on by freelance journalists. When asked by the press why he had hired the young man, Rekers replied it was to help him; "lift my luggage."
The protestors were also joined by mental health professionals and survivors of "ex-gay" therapy.
Besen in a media interview pointed out that so called "ex-gay" therapy is harmful, ineffective and a fringe practice that is rejected by every respected medical and mental health association in America. He also said that the protest against NARTH and its sister organizations takes on new urgency, following a series of teen suicides due to anti-gay bullying.