NARTH chose Marina Del Rey as the convention site for their annual meeting. Marina Del Rey is an unincorporated part of the County of Los Angeles that consists of the marina itself and a small segment of land. It is surrounded on three sides by the City of Los Angeles, the fourth being the ocean.
The City Councilman for the surrounding area, Bill Rosendahl, an openly gay man and practicing Catholic, protested outside the NARTH convention along with a group of therapists and students.
Rosendahl called their research and their methods “unproven, unsafe and abusive,” pointing out that the American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a condition to be cured more than three decades ago.
“It’s another form of rationalization for the continued persecution and prejudice against gay people, and it has to stop,” Rosendahl said. “That’s why we’re here.”
Although NARTH claims members in the thousands, only about 100 therapists showed up along with some of their ex-gay clients. NARTH claims to be secular in nature, yet their speaker was Alan Chambers with his message of “godly heterosexuality”. He had this to offer:
“That doesn’t mean I’m straight, it’s not my ‘diploma,’ ” he said. “But my sexual orientation did change.”
I’m not sure how that would translate to English. I guess change is possible… just not change into a straight person.