'Ex-Gay Pride Month 2013' has been cancelled in the United States due to what organizers call ‘anti-ex-gay extremism’ but they have pledged to hold another month of events in September.
The Ex-Gay Pride Month was being organized by Voice of the Voiceless and Equality and Justice for All – two groups associated with the far-right anti-gay Family Research Council.
Voice of the Voiceless describes itself as ‘the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families.’
The groups had scheduled retiring Republican Senator Michele Bachmann and Republican member of the House of Representatives Tim Huelskamp to speak at a lavish dinner at the Family Research Council’s Washington headquarters on July 31 but that has now been moved to September.
It is unclear if any other events were actually held during the first two weeks of Ex-Gay Pride Month.
‘Due to some anti-ex-gay extremism that has occurred since we first announced Ex-Gay Pride 2013, the July 31 Lobbying Day on Capitol Hill and Evening Dinner/Reception at the Family Research Council has had to be moved and postponed to an undisclosed location in September,’ organizers announced on their website four days ago.
‘The harassment has caused several security threats which has forced us to change plans, and that is unfortunate. However, we are committed to holding an alternate event in late July as well as supporting some other initiatives that our allies and fellow ex-gays are planning for July.
‘For all of our supporters that have made travel plans to attend the July 31 event, we sincerely apologize for having to change plans, but we thought it was in the best interest to ensure the safety and security of all participants and speakers.’
The groups have now declared September ‘Ex-Gay Awareness Month’ which they say will be, ‘a time to reflect on the discrimination and marginalization that former homosexuals and ex-gays experience in the public at large.’
‘It will also provide some much needed exposure to students in secondary schools and colleges across the country to learn about the plights, challenges, and tribulations facing ex-gays in our culture.’
Voice of the Voiceless was co-founded by reparative therapy exponent Chris Doyle and the Reverend DL Foster both of whom claim to have been able to change their sexual orientation.
Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne Besen believes the event was cancelled for a different reason.
‘There was never going to be an actual ‘Ex-gay Pride Month’ because ex-gays are as rare as the Dodo bird,’ Besen said in a statement.
‘They simply could not find real ‘ex-gays’ to participate and had to cancel to save face. This was nothing but a desperate publicity stunt intended to revive a failing industry that has repeatedly embarrassed anti-gay organizations.’
‘We challenge Doyle to come forward and release the names of LGBT activists and organizations that have allegedly jeopardized his organization’s security. Until concrete allegations are made, we can only assume Dole is making an excuse for his organization’s abject failure to produce a viable Ex-Gay Pride Month event.
Besen said that he had seen these sorts of tactics before.
‘Ex-Gay Pride month reminded me of a publicity stunt we have seen before,' Besen said.
'Prior to being disgraced, [ex-gay proponent] Michael Johnston founded National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day to mock the LGBT annual event, National Coming Out Day. We see how well that worked out for them.’
Doyle has claimed that he became homosexual after being shamed by his parents at age 10 for trying to have sex with ‘little girls’ his mother had been caring for after he had been molested by an older female cousin.