Monday, March 1, 2010

JUST LOVE: A Statewide Challenge to the Ex-Gay Movement

St. Paul’s Cathedral, San Diego California

Saturday, March 6 2010
9 a.m. – 5p.m.


8.30 a.m. Registration

9 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks: Rev. Canon Albert Ogle (Vice President for National and International Affairs, Integrity USA and serves as a Director of the California Council of Churches Impact Board)

The Very Rev. Scott Richardson (Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral)

9.15 a.m.-12.30 p.m. A PANEL OF EXPERTS

A personal testimony: Joshua’s Story

Joshua Romero is the HRC Religious Liaison in San Diego. He was raised in Baptist, Assembly of God, Nazarene, and non-denominational churches. A few months after coming out to his family during his senior year at Point Loma Nazarene University, he attended a Love Won Out conference in St. Louis with his family, where he witnessed first-hand the emotional and psychological damage of the ex-gay movement on LGBT persons and their parents. His friends' stories and faith challenges have inspired him to the create Solace, a peer support group for people of faith during the coming out process.

The history and methods of the ex-gay movement

Michael Bussee, after co-founding Exodus International in 1979, left
the group and became an outspoken critic of the organization. Today
Bussee is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, a father, an evangelical Christian, and a proud gay man.

Links to Exodus International, the ex gay movement in the USA and Uganda.

Wayne Besen
, Founder of Truth Wins Out, a non-profit organization that defends the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community against anti-gay misinformation, counters the so-called “ex-gay” industry and educates America about the lives of LGBT people, and author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth and Bashing Back: Wayne Besen on GLBT People, Politics, and Culture.

Dr. Amity Pierce Buxton, author of The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families, founded the Straight Spouse Network (SSN) to support straight spouses whose partners came out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender partners and mixed-orientation or trans/nontrans couples.

Jim Burroway, writer and Editor of Box Turtle Bulletin. Jim was the first to sound the alarm on the intensifying anti-LGBT climate in Uganda that has led to a bill before the Ugandan Parliament that has sparked international outrage.

Panel Questions and Answers

12.30-1.30 p.m. LUNCH (on your own)

1.30 p.m.-4.30 p.m. AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS


This intensive Media Training is designed to help anyone interested in improving their media skills and utilizing the media more effectively to get their messages across. How do you “stay on message” or deal with difficult or awkward questions?

Louise Brooks is a former Television Producer and is a consultant with California Faith for Equality and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Louise is also the Secretary to Integrity USA and coordinated the successful media campaign at the 2009 General Convention where the Episcopal Church passed legislation to open all employment and membership opportunities to LGBT people. Louise is also the media consultant for Rev. Mary Glasspool who was recently elected ad the first openly lesbian bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles.

B. COMMUNITY ACTIVISM - the hard work of “changing hearts and
minds”. How can religious people on one side, address the issues
raised by religious people on the other side? Chaired by Fernando Lopez, Marriage Equality USA

We are inviting EQCA. CFE, MEUSA, PFLAG, SAME and local GSA’s to
share helpful strategies from their wealth of experience here in San Diego. This workshop is designed to equip volunteers to engage deeper issues on a personal and conversational level. These tools and talking points can be used for door to door or everyday conversations with our opponents who have a particularly religious perspective that needs to be challenged effectively.

Andrea Shorter is the Deputy Director Marriage Equality, Equality California. She is a coalition building strategist for marriage equality and long term civil and human rights movement work. Andrea’s occupations have included Director, And Marriage For All; and Deputy Executive Director, Names Project Foundation/AIDS Memorial Quilt. She studied abroad in Denmark and traveled extensively 'round the world through Europe, Holland, Russia, Israel, Palestine, and South Africa. Andrea has been a proud Castro resident for nearly 20 years and is immersed in the fight for marriage equality, particularly with faith and minority communities.

The Rev. Dr. Paul Egertson, is Senior Lecturer in Religion at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA. From 1995 through 2001 he served as Bishop of the Southwest California Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
He is on the Board of Directors of Soulforce, Inc., and a member of the Covenant Circle for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. He has received a number of awards for over 25 years of activism within the Lutheran churches on behalf of equality for LGBTQ people and resigned one month before his term of office was completed following controversy over ordaining the first openly lesbian pastor in the Lutheran Church. He and his wife Shirley have been married for 54 years and are the parents of six sons (one gay, five straight). They enjoy over a dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Activism in Religious Settings” “I will briefly discuss the Biblical issues that Judeo/Christian groups struggle with. Then describe the four various views held by Christians in regard to gay/lesbian people. Finally, I'd describe the activist process by which the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was led last August to change its denominational position from a closed to a more open one. The point of all three sections would be to provide assistance to those present as they seek to activate changes of attitude among religious people”.

C. STRATEGIES FOR RECOVERY from ex-gay theology and propaganda. What can the community provide?

Carlos Marquez is Director of Public Programs and Community Affairs at the San Diego LGBT Center


Susan Guinn is the lead partner in the Law Offices of Susan Guinn in San Diego and served on the Board of Directors of Equality California. She is married to Denice Feldhaus and they have two children, Gavin and Max.

The focus of this discussion will be on how to end the misinformation that has fueled everything from personal crises in thousands of undocumented cases of teenagers, men and women trying to use ex gay therapy to the influencing of legislation in Uganda. This is a workshop for attorneys and other interested people in monitoring the damage and misinformation from a legal and strategic point of view.

This workshop and discussion will be led by Susan Guinn from the Law Offices of Susan Guinn in San Diego

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