The Ex-Gays are Coming!: Failed Event Returns to DC

by Bobby McGuire

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday October 3, 2014

They're back!

On October 3, "ex-gays" and those who take their money to tell them they're now into the opposite sex, will converge on the nation's capital to learn how to lobby for the right of self-denial and then immediately put those skills to use speaking to congressional representatives who presumably will do a lot of nodding.

The annual "Ex-Gay Awareness" weekend returns to Washington D.C., with two days of dysfunction, denial and a dinner participants will have to provide for themselves. The event, which is presented by ex-gay advocacy and support groups Voice of the Voiceless and Parent and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), with generous sponsorship by not one, but three SPLC designated anti-gay hate groups, marks the second go around for this event. Promoters are expecting to top last year's attendance which numbered in the tens.

The second annual "Hateapalooza" will feature appearances by former U.S. Ambassador and failed GOP presidential hopeful Alan Keyes, radio blowhard Sandy Rios, fear troll Matt Barber and other sundry anti-gay glitterati.

The event is being sponsored by SPLC designated anti-gay hate groups Family Research Council, American Family Association and Liberty Counsel with generous support from Defend Life and The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice (formerly NARTH).

The Fun Starts Today!

According to event co-presenters PFOX, the Agenda will be as follows:

Friday, October 3, 2014
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Pre-Event Get Together and Lobbying Education Training, Greg Quinlan, President of Equality And Justice For All (Location to be disclosed prior to the event)

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Meetings with your Representatives and Senators (e-mail [email protected] for assistance in making appointments)

5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Dinner (on your own)

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Evening reception (hors d' oeuvres and dessert to be served), music, and screening of "Sing Over Me" with Dennis Jernigan (Location to be disclosed prior to the event)

Saturday, October 4, 2014
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. - Breakfast with Ambassador Alan Keyes (sponsorship tickets required)

9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - Invocation
Rev. Jayson Graves, LMFT
Welcome -Estella Salvatierra, President/Regina Griggs, Executive Director of PFOX
Introduction - Christopher Doyle, President of Voice of the Voiceless

9:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Ambassador Alan Keyes, Former Republican Presidential Candidate, Keynote Speech: "Living Our Love In Truth"

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. -Breakout Sessions
Denise Schick: "Understanding and Healing Gender Dysporia"

Matt Barber: "Ex-Gay Legal Rights: Current Challenges and Future Strategies for Ex-Gay Equality"

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. -Breakout Sessions
Rev. Jayson Graves, LMFT: "Integrating faith and practice in the journey towards sexual integrity"

Peter Sprigg: "Ex-Gays: The Best Kept Secret in Your Child's School"

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. -Breakout Sessions

Dennis Jernigan: "Sing Over Me"

Robin Goodspeed: "Healed, Happy, & Here!"

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Luncheon

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Panel Discussion with Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays Panel, Moderated by Regina Griggs (Panel TBD)

3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Break

3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. - Courage Award for Former Homosexuals, Dennis Jernigan (Introduction by PFOX Past President Greg Quinlan

3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Break

4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. - Friend of Ex-Gays Freedom Award, Sandy Rios (Introduction by Voice of the Voiceless President Christopher Doyle)

4:45 p.m. - Benediction

If At First You Don't Succeed ....

In July 2013, ex-gay "advocacy" and "support" groups Voice of the Voiceless and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays promised to bring "thousands of ex-gays" to Washington, D.C.. While the actual number of attendees for that first annual "Ex-Gay Pride" event didn't quite meet expectations (only 10 showed up), the show went on as scheduled and later spawned the event's afterbirth, the first annual "Ex-Gay Awareness Month." The second event was slightly more successful and drew a reported 50 to 60 participants.

"Your support for the movement is more important than ever, as gay activists are desperately trying to enact legislation around the country to ban licensed counselors from helping those who are unhappy with their same-sex attractions and are seeking healing." Says representatives from New Hearts Outreach, one of the groups slated to attend the event.

If you're like most people, and missed out on last year's fun - here's a re-cap.