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Old 06-15-2005, 07:06 AM   #16
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There's a special place in hell for these parents. And there's a lower circle of hell for the religions that cause this illogical hatred.


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Old 06-27-2005, 09:27 PM   #17
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Tenn. investigates ex-gay camp
Teen's blog leads to outcry, charges of abuse at unlicensed facility
Jun 23, 3:41 PM

The state of Tennessee has begun an investigation in response to allegations of child abuse at Love in Action, a Memphis facility that advertises homosexual conversion therapy for adolescents, according to the state department of health.

K. Daniele Edwards, a spokesperson for Child Services at the Tennessee Department of Health, confirmed an investigation is underway but declined to comment on the details. She noted that she presumes the Love in Action program would require licensing by the state.

Gay activists protested outside an unlicensed 'ex-gay' facility run by Love In Action, which Tennessee officials are investigating to see if teens are being mistreated.

Love in Action is not licensed by the Tennessee Departments of Health, Mental Health, Human Services, Child Services or Education, according to Rachel Lassiter of Gov. Phil Bredesen's communications office.

Refuge, Love in Action's program for adolescents, became the focus of public concern earlier this month after a Bartlett, Tenn., teen who uses the blogger name Zach, posted online entries that say his parents had responded to his coming out as gay by sending him to a religious institution to be converted to heterosexuality.

"Emotional abuse is difficult to prove in the state of Tennessee," said Pamela Dickey, director of the advocacy center for Childhelp USA in Knoxville. "You have to document that the child is undergoing depression or suicidal ideation, that he can't sleep, or can't eat."

Officials from Love in Action had appealed for "tolerance" of their program at a June 16 news conference.

"It is our spiritual conviction that sexual behavior outside of heterosexual marriage is considered wrong in the sight of God," said John Smid, the program's director, who describes himself as "ex-gay," according to a partial transcript of the news conference.

"This program is operated on the will of the guardian or parent. We will work with the minor children as long as they are not overtly distracting to their own program or the program of others," Smid added. "If it is shown that the client is overtly treatment resistant, we will work with the parent towards alternative options for their care and overall relational health."

Blogger E.J. Friedman said that he had been corresponding with Zach via e-mail since March and became alarmed when he saw that Zach had begun to write that his world was coming to an end and that his parents were isolating him.

"When I saw Zach had written in his blog, 'all I can think of is killing my mother and killing myself' I felt that clearly something needed to be said about the program," Friedman said.

No word from teen

Word of Zach's situation quickly spread around the blogosphere. By press time, more than 1,000 messages of support had been posted to Zach's blog and an online petition demanded that he be released from Love in Action. Comedian Margaret Cho contributed a message of support.

But Zach has not posted to his blog since the first week in June and sources contacted by the Blade would not confirm Zach's full name. His parents also could not be identified.

Morgan Fox, 25, who said he was a friend of Zach's, said he believed Zach was in a two-week Refuge program.

Meanwhile, a group called the Queer Action Coalition has begun daily demonstrations in front of Love in Action offices to raise awareness of the dangers of "ex-gay" therapy.

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Old 06-27-2005, 09:41 PM   #18
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Makes me just so angry,

I have a very close friend and she is bi-sexual. She told me how she was forced to tell her Priest about her sexual orientation. SHe was never so embarassed, then her parents sent her to live with an Uncle 500 miles away from her friends.

I went with her and her g/f last week to Gay pride, I was the proudest person there for her and im sure all the others who had some sort of ordeal.
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Old 06-28-2005, 04:53 AM   #19
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I read this with disbelief and despair. What is our world coming too? Whatever happened to tolerance and compassion and unconditional love? Why are people so worried about themselves or what someone else thinks that they would do this to their child? While I am sure the parents must be in shock, why can't they see how much it must have taken for their son to discuss this with them. I feverently hope that Zack is okay. It is times like this when I am thankful of the internet.
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Old 06-28-2005, 11:46 AM   #20
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*Reads the update*

How incredibly charming . What a bunch of idiots.

I don't get this kind of behavior either, Tania. What the hell happened to the concept of "live and let live"?

Those people running that camp should be ashamed.


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