This weekend, Orlando will be hopping with the annual Gay Days at Disney World. Thousands of LGBT people from across the country will gather in the Sunshine State to party, celebrate and tan. But it may well be early on Saturday morning, while many people are still sleeping and recovering from Friday night, that the most powerful part of the weekend takes place.
That morning, at 7am, PFLAG parents from across the Gulf Coast will gather outside of Orlando's First Presbyterian Church to greet attendees arriving for the Love Won Out conference, the "ex-gay" ministry of Focus on the Family. PFLAG'ers from around the region will be there, as the sun comes up over Florida, with a simple, but powerful message for other parents who are struggling with accepting their LGBT kids: Parents can love their children just the way they are and their children will grow up happier, healthier and safer if they do.
After the jump, all of the details on Saturday morning's event, which Bilerico readers are invited to attend.
What: Parents, family members, clergy and allies from across the Gulf Coast region will greet attendees entering the Orlando, Florida "Love Won Out" conference. The conference, organized by Focus on the Family, endorses so-called "reparative therapy" for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
Members of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will greet attendees with donuts, coffee and information on embracing lesbian and gay loved ones.
Who: PFLAG parents will be joined by supportive members of the clergy from around Orlando, as well as PFLAG National executive director Jody M. Huckaby and Lance Helms, Gulf Coast Regional Director for PFLAG.
Why: So-called "ex-gay ministries," such as "Love Won Out," use out-moded medical theories and radical religious beliefs to justify trying to alter gay and lesbian people's natural sexual orientation. In 1990, the American Psychological Association (APA) stated that scientific evidence does not show that conversion therapy works and that it can do more harm than good.
When: Saturday, June 7, 2008; 7am
Where: First Presbyterian Church, 106 E. Church Street, Orlando, FL 32801