- June 4, 2013
This morning HRC staff welcomed a few unusual guests outside our headquarters in Washington, D.C.: leaders of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, Apologetics Group, the Liberty Counsel Action and Mission America.
The anti-LGBT organization leaders staged a press conference, attended predominantly by LGBT media covering the event, to state objections to LGBT Pride Month.
Donning a sign that claimed, “Homosexuality is nothing to be proud of, but overcoming it is,” the group of speakers sought to not only attack HRC’s Foundation work, including our work to end bullying through our Welcoming Schools program, but also to promote the dangerous practice of reparative therapy.
Right wing religious groups often promote the hazardous and harmful practice of reparative, or ex-gay, therapy, the idea that one can change their sexuality through prayer. Every major American medical and social welfare organization has denounced reparative therapy for the egregious harms it inflicts on people.
For example, those who have engaged are more than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide, nearly six times as likely to report high levels of depression, more than three time as likely to use illegal drugs and more than three times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and STDS.
Today’s group purported to speak in defense of children, yet lacks the self-awareness to understand the extent of the harm their hate-speech inflicts on children. Their anti-LGBT vitriol creates a toxic environment that can make LGBT youth feel they aren’t worth the same dignity that all Americans deserve.
The social ostracism groups like the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, Apologetics Group, the Liberty Counsel Action and Mission America promote leave the LGBT community, particularly LGBT youth, feeling disaffected and disconnected from their own homes and neighborhoods.
The small handful of anti-LGBT individuals that gathered outside the HRC headquarters today are a testament to the progress of the movement toward full equality. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win."
Love conquers hate.
For the truth on reparative therapy, visit http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/the-lies-and-dangers-of-reparative-therapy
Join HRC in calling out homophobia and transphobia and to learn how you can get involved at www.hrc.org/callitout