From The Washington Blade, May 26:

Love Won Out, a controversial religious conference that espouses reparative therapy and encourages gays to change their sexual orientation, is coming to Maryland next month.

Counter-vigils are planned. Worth reading are statements by spokespersons for Focus on the Family, Equality Maryland and PFLAG…

Dan Furmansky, executive director of Equality Maryland:

“It’s very important to us as a coalition that this event bring no more publicity to Focus on the Family and their negative messages than they would otherwise receive,” he said. “Our response should be proportionate to the level of attention the actual event receives.”

David S. Fishback, a board member of Metro D.C. PFLAG:

“It is sad that there are some people that are so caught up in their own theology that they feel the need to tell people, particularly young people, that they must choose between their religious faith and being true to how God made them,” he said. “That’s very sad.”

Furmansky says of the vigils:

“The goal is to provide concise and intelligent arguments in response to any media attention this gets,” he said, “and to be there for any individuals who are going into the conference who would benefit from seeing a friendly face that accepts them for whoever they are.”

Mike Haley, who is chairman of Exodus as well as spokesman for Focus on the Family, says that if gays don’t turn straight, it’s because they didn’t try hard enough:

“We have to look at the fact that, for those who are highly motivated, change is possible,” he said. “It’s not an option that everyone wants to take.”

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