LGBT activists are rallying in Hattiesburg, Miss., gathering to protest a three-day conference promoting the dangerous practice of ex-gay therapy.
The Lakeside Baptist Church is hosting "Coming Out: A Gospel Response to Same-Sex Attraction," and promoting a practice known by various names – reparative therapy, conversion therapy and ex-gay therapy – that claims homosexuality is a condition to be cured.
The therapy has been denounced by leading medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, and the states of California and New Jersey have banned the use of the ex-gay therapy against minors.
Conference speakers include Hal and Lisa Selby, who have a ministry in Ocean Springs, Miss., that promotes conversion therapy and praying away the gay.
An announcement of the three nights of protest described each event as "a peaceful demonstration comprised of the LGBT community, their families, allies, and Christians who seek to spread the message of love and acceptance of all God’s children."
Organizers include GetEQUAL Mississippi, OMEGA Mississippi and Walk Fellowship Church of Hattiesburg.