HRC Blog

This Is What Love in Action Looks Like

When Zack Stark came out to his parents, he had no idea that his life was about to change forever. Stuck inside “Love In Action” – an ex-gay ‘rehabilitation’ program – the quiet teenager blogged about their draconian practices, sparking an impassioned, nationwide protest to rescue the teen. In This is What Love in Action Looks Like, filmmaker Morgan Jon Fox captures the stirring, inspirational true-story of how religious dogma is used to bully LGBT teens and how social media is essential to inspiring transparency, change, and hope for a new generation of activism.

The behavioral modification process known as “ex-gay therapy” inflicts severe harm to the human psyche by furthering confusion and damaging self-esteem. Like Zack, having attended a program at a Palm Beach Baptist church, I was driven by feelings of guilt and shame due to my misguided understanding of the religion’s definition of homosexuality. These ‘rehabilitation’ programs attempt to polarize two fundamental parts of humanity: our sexuality and our faith. To be closer to God, I was told I had to suppress and overcome homosexual tendencies. I know now these tactics are not a true reflection of Christian teachings and I’m proud of our vision at HRC’s Religion and Faith program to work to ensure that no one is forced, like Zack, to choose between who they love and how they worship.

Pete Webb, a member of HRC’s Board of Governors, who reviewed an advance copy of the film, agrees: “Just as protests and action followed Zack’s exposure of horrendous experiences, today people of faith must stand up and reclaim the voice of reason, love and understanding. LGBT people are active members of our synagogues, churches, families, schools and communities. Hopefully this film will spark an open dialogue with our friends and family. Religion should never be used to shackle people but to embrace and encourage folks to live authentic lives.”

The DVD is being released today. To learn more about This Is What Love In Action Looks Like, please visit You can also view HRC's resource on the dangers of reparative therapy here.

Image courtesy of TLA Releasing.

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