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Watch: Evangelical Group Uses Pro-LGBTQ Language to Send Anti-Gay Message

Tuesday Jan 23, 2018
Watch: Evangelical Group Uses Pro-LGBTQ Language to Send Anti-Gay Message
  (Source:YouTube Still via Anchored North)

A new YouTube video from an evangelical media company is making headlines this week for using pro-LGBTQ language to get across an anti-gay message.

The clip from Anchored North is titled "Powerful coming out story!!! LOVE IS LOVE" and appears to be an inspirational love story about a young woman's coming out. But the video is actually about a young woman who says she thought she was gay but because of finding God, she's now straight.

"Between the title and the rainbow flag, you could easily mistake this for a pro-LGBT video from the It Gets Better or Truth Wins Out campaigns," The Guardian's Josia Hesse writes.

In the first part of the video, the woman, Emily, explains she was once engaged to a woman but after being invited to church she "Googled [Bible] verses on homosexuality and it scared me really bad."

During the clip, Emily uses LGBTQ-positive language like "love is love" and "born this way" as she's discussing her anti-gay views.

"It's not gay to straight, it's lost to saved," Emily says in the clip.

By the end of the video, Emily is seen cuddling with a young man.

For the YouTube video's description, Anchored North, which posted the clip, writes:

"Emily spent 7 years living out her same-sex attractions while being outspoken about God's acceptance of her lifestyle. After her engagement with her female partner ended, she was invited to a Bible study. This weekly examination of the holiness of God challenged her day after day until her life completely changed. It is a powerful testimony that calls the homosexual community not to heterosexuality but to holiness.

Emily's story lovingly addresses the heart of the matter: that homosexuality is only one sin among many that manifests itself within a sinful heart. Only by the grace and mercy of God can we be transformed."


Greg Sukert, a co-founder of Anchored North, spoke with The Guardian about his videos, explaining the company was inspired by BuzzFeed's snappy style.

"Homosexuality, drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, rape, all of these things are manifestations of the true problem, which is the deceitful and wicked heart that all people are born with," he told the newspaper.

Sukert strong denies that the video promotes "conversion therapy," however.

"The message of someone changing their attraction or desires is not the same as conversion therapy," he told The Guardian. "That whole thing is the use of psychotherapy to alter someone's behavior, which is not what we're communicating. What we're saying is God changes the heart."

Nevertheless, Deb Cuny, spokesperson for LGBTQ organization #BornPerfect, says that despite their detail of promoting conversion therapy, a practice that aims to "turn" gay people straight, the language and intent of conversion therapy is in Anchored North's content.

"I want to expose all the different subtle practices of the church that don't have the label of conversion therapy, but clearly are," she told The Guardian. "Any attempt to change someone's sexual or gender identity, even through something as subtle as prayer, is conversion therapy."

Sukert goes on to say that he and Anchored North are being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

"Since this video was released, Emily has taken so much heat," he told The Guardian. "She's received death threats. People deny her experiences altogether, saying things like 'you were never gay, just bisexual,' 'you're lost,' 'you've succumbed to the church's suppression.'"

The Guardian notes the clip has been viewed more than 2 million times on Facebook. As of this writing, the YouTube clip has been watched over 22,000 times.

The still image for the YouTube clip features Emily and the phrase "LOVE IS LOVE" with a rainbow font. Sukret said his company's videos are inspired by BuzzFeed.

"They've mastered content that focuses on raw, authentic, sometimes humorous stories," he told The Guardian. "And the things that are shaping the next generation's worldview are these short-form videos online, so we're taking a page from the culture of today, but the message is staying the same."


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