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Archive for May, 2007

In Brutal Raid, Iran Arrests 87, Jails 17

Posted by pozlife on May 30, 2007

 

By: DOUG IRELAND

05/24/2007

Pictures of Farhad and Farnam, a young gay couple who just fled Iran, demonstrate the wounds they received from floggings and beatings—punishments meted out even before they stood trial for alleged sex acts.

Pictures of Farhad and Farnam, a young gay couple who just fled Iran, demonstrate the wounds they received from floggings and beatings—punishments meted out even before they stood trial for alleged sex acts.

Iranian authorities staged a brutal and violent May 10 raid on a birthday party in Esfahan which they suspected was a gay gathering, beating the guests and arresting 87 people, including four women, one of whom had a child with her.
Some 80 of those arrested made bail or were released immediately but face possible prosecution in the future, while the other 17 were imprisoned awaiting trial. A judge told their families that those jailed would be charged with “homosexual conduct” (hamjensgarai in Persian) and the consumption of alcohol.
According to the most recent telephone reports from Esfahan received by Arsham Parsi, the exiled executive director of the Iranian Queer Organization (IRQO – formerly the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization), 12 of the 17 jailed were eventually also allowed to post bail and released pending their trial, which is scheduled for a month from now. Five are still incarcerated – including the lad whose birthday was being celebrated, 19-year-old Farhad, and his uncle, who were unable to make the $250,000 bail each set by a judge, Parsi told Gay City News this Wednesday.
“I’ve been told that Farhad faces prison and perhaps execution,” Parsi said by telephone from Toronto, where he has been living since he was granted asylum by Canada last year as a sexual refugee from persecution in Iran.
Parsi said that, according to accounts he has received from Iran, police brought along on the raid both a film crew and four mullahs to serve as witnesses to what they suspected would be gay sexual activity at the party.Under the religious Sharia law in force in the Islamic Republic of Iran, four witnesses are required for conviction on a charge of homosexual sex involving penetration, a crime that carries the death penalty. Consumption of alcohol carries a penalty of 100 lashes, and, after a third conviction, the death penalty.
Police and members of the Basiji – the thuggish parapolice attached to the Revolutionary Guards and used to enforce morality – severely beat the Esfahan party guests, both inside the house where the party was held and in the street outside, resulting in broken bones for some of those in attendance, according to guests at the party and other eyewitnesses.
A voice-mail left on the office telephone of the IRQO by one of those arrested said, “The police beat us so hard that one of us threw himself out of the third-floor window and broke his legs. He is now in hospital. When we were arrested, we were forced to sleep on the floor, and the police were walking on us. We don’t have any voice here and you are our voice. Please tell the world about our horrible situation in Iran, it is our daily life.”
Parsi told Gay City News that eight of those jailed were transgendered or had been wearing female attire. All of them denied having had anal intercourse with men, but police subsequently had them examined by a medical officer who claimed he had found evidence of anal sexual intercourse on the part of “most of them.”
Parsi said those examined all told the arraignment judge that was because they had been raped, but the evidence of the medical officer can nonetheless be used to convict them of a sexual crime that carries capital punishment.
Parsi added that he had received a telephone call from one of the transgendered women who was arrested and “she told me the awful story about that night and her jail experience. She told me that the police kept bags over their heads while they were in jail, and that they were hardly allowed to go to the toilet. They were permitted to use a toilet only twice in the four days they were in jail.”
Esfahan is Iran’s third largest city, with a population of 1,600,000, and is also home to one of Iran’s most important nuclear facilities, and thus is under tight police control and surveillance.
The violent raid and jailings were vigorously denounced by both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
AI’s statement said in part, “Amnesty International opposes the criminalization of consensual adult sexual relations conducted in private and urges the Iranian authorities to urgently review law and practice to ensure that no one can be prosecuted for such reasons… AI is concerned that [some of] the men may be held because of what they were wearing at the time of their arrest… If this is the case, then they are prisoners of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression.”
Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East division of Human Rights Watch, noted in a written statement that the Esfahan raid came as the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was conducting a new campaign against “immoral behavior,” begun in April, that includes a stringent crackdown on women who violate rigorous Islamic dress codes.
According to Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency, police on April 25 said that 150,000 people had been detained so far in this campaign. On May 13, police told the same news agency that 17,000 people had been stopped and interrogated at Iranian airports, of whom 850 women had been detained and released only after signing what were termed “commitment letters,” while another 130 faced prosecution.
“In Iran, the walls of homes are transparent and the halls of justice opaque,” HRW’s Stork said, adding, “This ‘morality’ campaign shows how fragile respect for privacy and personal dignity is in Iran today.”
Further evidence of the brutality of Iran’s heavy-handed theocracy toward homosexuals came with the release by the IRQO of horrific photos showing the wounds of a gay couple who had been subjected to 80 lashes in April “just for being gay,” as Parsi put it. The couple- Farhad, 26, and Farnam, 23 – escaped from Iran to Turkey last Saturday. They had been arrested when police broke into their home in Tehran.
According to the text of an Iranian Ministry of Justice document furnished to Gay City News by the IRQO, Farhad and Farnam were charged both with “organizing immoral parties” and with the crime of “tafkhiz,” which can be translated as interfemural sex – that is, humping or being humped between the thighs.
Parsi, who spoke to the exiled gay couple by telephone, said, “The police told them, ‘The 80 lashes are just for your immoral parties. For your tafkhiz you will get a lot more.'” Fearful of imprisonment and more torture on the charge, the couple fled Iran just days before their trial.
IRQO’s Parsi told Gay City News that Farhad and Farnam were among five new refugees from persecution in Iran – two of the others gay, one of them transgendered – who arrived in Turkey on the same train last Saturday.
“One of the guys arrived without a penny,” Parsi said. “He completely needs support, and for the moment he is living in one of our safe houses in Turkey, where we have eight people already living in a tiny two-bedroom house.”
Parsi said that his organization can only afford two such safe houses in Turkey, and that “both are very, very small and dirty, with totally inadequate toilet facilities and no way to bathe properly.” He added, “We now have over 30 gay, lesbian, and transgendered Iranian refugees in Turkey who totally depend on IRQO’s support. They cannot get jobs in Turkey, where there is a lot of homophobia and transphobia – and our small budget simply cannot adequately meet their needs. We appeal to all our brothers and sisters in the West not to forget the suffering of LGBT Iranians, or that we urgently need your donations.”
Contributions to the Iranian Queer Organization – an all-volunteer group that is the largest Iranian LGBT association, with more than 40,000 people on its e-mail list – may be made on credit cards via a secure PayPal account through the organization’s Web site at http://www.pglo.net/.

Doug Ireland can be reached through his blog, DIRELAND, at http://direland.typepad.com/direland/

Source: GayCityNews – In Brutal Raid, Iran Arrests 87, Jails 17

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Israeli Extremists Threaten New Anti-Gay Demonstrations

Posted by pozlife on May 30, 2007

 


by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: May 29, 2007 – 5:00 pm ET

(Jerusalem) An ultra-Orthodox sect that staged a week of riots last year against gay pride celebrations in Jerusalem is warning that if a parade is permitted this year it will again take to the streets.

Last week District Chief Cmdr. Ilan Franco gave tentative approval for a gay parade in the city on June 21 adding that the final OK must come the district commander based on “the intelligence information and/or evidence he may have at hand, on any restrictions he sees fit to apply to the event, it’s location, and arrangements.” (story)

Rabbi Oded Shmueli of the haredi sect warned the government not to approve the march, calling homosexuality “evil”.

“Does everyone with an evil proclivity need to display it?” Rabbi Oded Shmueli asked on Army Radio.

“They should at least have some shame. Why display it? People who want to commit murder or rob a bank are afraid of the shame. So what should we tell them to do- to go rob a bank; commit rape; murder; everything?”

Shmueli also said that the haredi had formed an alliance with the extreme-right Jewish National Front to oppose the parade.

Shmueli said that among the proposals being considered were blocking the streets to haredi neighborhoods and physically striking out at gay businesses and venues that are open on the Sabbath.

Noa Satat, Open House, the LGBT community center that sponsors the gay parade said the threats illustrate the need for a gay inclusionary parade.

The 2006 pride march was cancelled following a week of rioting in Jerusalem by the haredi.

Thousands of sect members took to the streets for a week, setting fire to garbage cans and injuring more than a dozen people.

Instead of holding a march Open House held a pride concert and celebration at Hebrew University where anyone entering the grounds was checked by police. (story) There were no incidents.

But the march preceding year was marred by violence. More than a than a dozen protestors were arrested and three people were stabbed.

Almost 1,000 protestors lined the parade route. Bottles of urine and bags containing feces were hurled at marchers. 

Shortly after the parade began Shai Schlissel, a haredi member, rushed into the marchers on Ben Yehuda Street stabbing a man and a woman. 

Others in the parade attempted to subdue him. The third victim was a marcher who went to the aid of the other two victims. (story)

Schlissel is in prison for the attack.

The haredi have become a growing force in Israeli politics, raising fears among some that the country could turn into an ultra-Orthodox state. Haredi political parties have often held the political power to make or break a government. (story)

Source: Gay News From 365Gay.com

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Salad Semen Prank Sends Teen To AIDS Center

Posted by pozlife on May 30, 2007

 


by The Associated Press

Posted: May 29, 2007 – 7:00 pm ET 

(Wheaton, Illinois) A judge has ordered a 17-year-old to pay a $750 fine and perform 120 hours of community service for contaminating salad dressing with semen and returning it to a suburban Chicago high school’s cafeteria.

DuPage County Judge Terence Sheen also placed Marco Castro on two years probation and ordered him to write a letter of apology to Wheaton North High School officials. Castro must complete his community service work for an agency that works with AIDS patients.

Sheen called the prank “beyond stupid.” “If you prove to me you’re worthy of another chance, in two years, then I will give it to you,” Sheen said.

Castro pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with the Dec. 6 incident. He admitted taking a bottle of ranch salad dressing from the school cafeteria to the bathroom and ejaculating into it, and then returning it to the cafeteria where juniors and seniors eat lunch.

Students reported Castro, and the senior was expelled from Wheaton North. There were no reported cases of illness following the incident.

Castro told police he thought of the prank after watching a movie filled with crude stunts.

“I have no explanation for what I did,” Castro said in court. “I felt bad after I did it.”

Harry Smith, Castro’s attorney, noted that the teen already had been punished, including missing the end of his senior year and humiliating himself and his family.

“It has not been without consequences,” Smith said.

Source: Gay News From 365Gay.com

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UN Offers New HIV Testing Guidelines

Posted by pozlife on May 30, 2007

 


by The Associated Press

Posted: May 30, 2007 – 9:00 am ET 

(London) Health professionals should routinely offer to test people for HIV instead of waiting for patients to request it, according to new advice from the United Nations Wednesday.

In making the recommendations, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS are underlining the need to identify the millions worldwide who need treatment. WHO estimates that approximately 80 percent of HIV-positive people in developing countries are currently unaware of their status.

“If we are serious about ensuring universal access to drugs, there has to be a fundamental change in the approach to HIV testing,” said Dr. Kevin De Cock, director of WHO’s AIDS department.

The UN now advises health workers to test patients for HIV as part of standard medical care, but only with the patient’s informed consent.

Yet there are questions about how the cash-strapped countries in Africa might adopt these guidelines. Of the estimated 40 million people living worldwide with HIV/AIDS, nearly 65 percent are in Africa.

Because current estimates of the number of HIV/AIDS patients include people who don’t know their status, experts do not expect the numbers to rise dramatically if more people are tested.

Though universal testing will certainly identify more HIV-positive people needing lifesaving anti-retrovirals, there is already a long waiting list: Nearly 5 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are still without treatment.

Identifying more AIDS patients whom countries cannot afford to treat threatens to create an even bigger backlog of people who know they are sick, but have no access to care.

Most AIDS experts believe that increased HIV testing will help, even if the conditions are not perfect.

“No one wants a situation where people find out they’re HIV-positive and can’t get anti-retroviral treatment,” said Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of HIV policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation. “But if we waited until everything was perfectly aligned, we would never respond.”

Another benefit of testing: Past studies also have shown that once people are aware that they are HIV-positive, they tend to practice safer sex – which could give prevention efforts a boost.

Africa’s weak health infrastructure, though, is a huge stumbling block. The continent urgently needs at least another 4 million health workers to fill the gap, according to WHO. Without doctors and nurses to administer the HIV tests or to provide the necessary treatment when patients are identified, such guidance will create even more stress for Africa’s already fragile health systems.

Still, the new testing procedures should mean that HIV patients are found earlier.

“The biggest problem we have now is that our health care systems are overburdened with very sick people who come in too late,” said Zackie Achmat, chairman of South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign.

“These new guidelines are long overdue,” said Achmat. “We cannot deal with the burden on the health care service if we don’t prevent people from becoming so sick that they become a supreme burden on it,” he said.

Increased HIV testing and the treatment and infrastructure it ultimately entails will require more money, yet no new funds have been announced to help countries implement these policies.

The UN estimates that the fight against AIDS in 2007-2008 requires $22 billion, and there is still a considerable shortfall. Last year, the deficit for global AIDS programs was about $6 billion.

While health authorities would like to see the new UN recommendations adopted as soon as possible, much will depend on whether countries decide to follow their advice.

“I hope that countries start implementing this immediately,” said WHO’s De Cock. “But we know you can’t just flip the switch and change everything in one day.”

Source: Gay News From 365Gay.com

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HIV on rise as virus spreads rapidly among gay Hong Kong men

Posted by pozlife on May 29, 2007

 

Turkmenistan News.Net
Tuesday 29th May, 2007 (IANS)

The HIV is spreading rapidly among Hong Kong’s gay community as research indicates a rise in the number of men having unsafe sex, officials said Tuesday.
Profiling of the virus acquired by HIV sufferers has revealed a cluster of cases with similar genetic sequencing which has risen from 34 to 53 cases since October last year.
Department of Health expert Wong Ka-hing urged people with a history of unprotected sex to have HIV tests, saying the findings suggested ‘rapid local HIV transmission’ among gay men in the city of 6.9 million.
Hong Kong recorded 91 new cases of HIV in the first quarter of 2007, bringing the total number of infections to 3,289. Twenty new cases of AIDS were diagnosed, raising the total since 1985 to 875.
The detection of clusters of cases among gay men in Hong Kong follows regional findings that the proportion of gay men in Asia contracting HIV has risen sharply in recent years.
The trend suggests that safe-sex practices and condom use among the gay community have eased since the HIV epidemic peaked in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Source: HIV on rise as virus spreads rapidly among gay Hong Kong men

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Alabama Lists Gays Among Terrorist Groups

Posted by pozlife on May 29, 2007

by The Associated Press

Posted: May 28, 2007 – 8:00 am ET

(Montgomery, Alabama) The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has taken down a Web site it operated that included gay rights and anti-war organizations in a list of groups that could include terrorists.

The Web site identified different types of terrorists, and included a list of groups it believed could spawn terrorists. The list also included environmentalists, animal rights advocates and abortion opponents.

The director of the department, Jim Walker, said his agency received a number of calls and e-mails from people who said they felt the site unfairly targeted certain people just because of their beliefs. He said he plans to put the Web site back on the Internet, but will no longer identify specific types of groups.

Howard Bayliss, chairman of the gay and lesbian advocacy group Equality Alabama, said he doesn’t understand why gay rights advocates would be on the list.

“Our group has only had peaceful demonstrations. I’m deeply concerned we’ve been profiled in this discriminatory matter,” Bayliss said.

The site included the groups under a description of what it called “single-issue” terrorists. That group includes people who feel they are trying to create a better world, the Web site said. It said that in some communities, law enforcement officers consider certain single issue groups to be a threat.

“Single-issue extremists often focus on issues that are important to all of us. However, they have no problem crossing the line between legal protest and … illegal acts, to include even murder, to succeed in their goals,” it read.

Walker said the site had been up since spring 2004, and had gotten a relatively small number of hits until it recently became the subject of blogs, he said.

Birmingham attorney Eric Johnston, president of the Alabama Pro Life Coalition, said he was concerned about any list that described people doing social justice work as terrorists.

“Our group’s main mission is educational. The thought that we would somehow be harboring terrorists escapes me,” he said.

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Actor Charles Nelson Reilly Dies

Posted by pozlife on May 29, 2007

by The Associated Press

Posted: May 28, 2007 – 8:00 am ET 

(Los Angeles, California) Charles Nelson Reilly, the Tony Award winner who later became known for his ribald appearances on the “Tonight Show” and various game shows, has died. He was 76.

Reilly died Friday in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia, his partner, Patrick Hughes, told the New York Times.

Reilly began his career in New York City, taking acting classes at a studio with Steve McQueen, Geraldine Page and Hal Holbrook. In 1962, he appeared on Broadway as Bud Frump in the original Broadway production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” The role won Reilly a Tony Award.

He was nominated for a Tony again for playing Cornelius in “Hello, Dolly!” In 1997 he received another nomination for directing Julie Harris and Charles Durning in a revival of “The Gin Game.”

After moving to Hollywood in 1960s he appeared as the nervous Claymore Gregg on TV’s “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” and as a featured guest on “The Dean Martin Show.”

He gained fame by becoming what he described as a “game show fixture” in the 1970s and 80s. He was a regular on programs like “Match Game” and “Hollywood Squares,” often wearing giant glasses and colorful suits with ascots.

His larger-than-life persona and affinity for double-entendres also landed him on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson more than 95 times.

Reilly ruefully admitted his wild game show appearances adversely affected his acting career. “You can’t do anything else once you do game shows,” he told The Advocate, the national gay magazine, in 2001. “You have no career.”

His final work was an autobiographical one-man show, “Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly,” about his family life growing up in the Bronx. The title grew out of the fact that when he would act out as a child, his mother would often admonish him to “save it for the stage.”

The stage show was made into the 2006 feature film called “The Life of Reilly.”

Reilly’s openly gay television persona was ahead of its time, and sometimes stood in his way. He recalled a network executive telling him “they don’t let queers on television.”

Hughes, his only immediate survivor, said Reilly had been ill for more than a year.

No memorial plans had been announced.

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Bar Wins Right To Exclude Non Gays

Posted by pozlife on May 29, 2007

 


by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: May 29, 2007 – 9:00 am ET 

(Melbourne, Australia) A gay bar in Melbourne has been granted an exemption to the Victoria state human rights law allowing it to bar anyone other than gay males.

The Peel Hotel went before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to argue that straights and some lesbians were making gay male customers uncomfortable. In some instances, said owner Tom McFeely gay patrons were insulted and harassed by straight customers.

McFeely said the Peel was the only exclusively gay venue in Melbourne.

“We’re the only one out of 2,000 venues in Melbourne. Those heterosexuals have other places to go to, my homosexuals do not,” he told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

“The only place they can feel comfortable and safe is the Peel and that’s the reason.

The tribunal agreed with him, granting an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act.

In the tribunal’s ruling deputy president Cate McKenzie wrote that the bar was in danger of of being swamped by heterosexual men and women.

“This would undermine or destroy the atmosphere which the company wishes to create,” McKenzie wrote.

“Sometimes heterosexual groups and lesbian groups insult and deride and are even physically violent towards the gay male patrons.”

“To regard the gay male patrons of the venue as providing an entertainment or spectacle to be stared at, as one would at an animal at a zoo, devalues and dehumanizes them,” she wrote.

The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Lobby Group praised the ruling.

“This exemption was not sought to exclude members of the community but to try to maintain a safe space for men to meet,” a spokesperson said.

Source: Gay News From 365Gay.com

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Notes To Think About

Posted by pozlife on May 29, 2007

Whether you are homosexual or not, you should repost this in support of your friends and loved ones who are. Love is not defined by color, creed, or gender.

I am the boy who never finished high school, because I got called a fag everyday

I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.

I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.

We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.

I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.

I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.

We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

I am the woman who died when the EMTs stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me.

I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don’t believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

I am the person ashamed to tell my own friends I’m a lesbian, because they constantly make fun of them.

I am the boy tied to a fence, beaten to a bloody pulp and left to die because two straight men wanted to “teach me a lesson”

—IF YOU BELIEVE THAT HOMOPHOBIA IS WRONG… REPOST THIS

—IF YOU ARE IGNORANT… IGNORE

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Former ‘Ex Gays’ Urged to Participate in Campaign and Save Lives

Posted by pozlife on May 27, 2007

 


05.27.07
Truth Wins Out launched its ‘Talking Truth’ internet video campaign today, so Americans can finally learn from the victims of ex-gay ministries how these misleading groups are ineffective and ruin lives.

The video testimonies paint an accurate portrait of ‘ex-gay’ groups that teach client’s denial, while offering false promises about changing from gay-to-straight. The Talking Truth campaign also gives hope to those who are still ensnared in the ‘ex-gay’ trap and lets them know that they can remain both spiritual and openly gay.

“We hope our videos will save lives and make it more difficult for Exodus to seduce young people with its fictions and fabrications,” said Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out (TWO).

“In our campaign, people will hear directly from the victims and see that these programs simply don’t work and can be a drain on time, money and self-esteem. We urge all former ex-gays to immediately contact Truth Wins Out and tell us your compelling story on video, so we can continue to rescue people harmed by ‘ex-gay’ programs.”

For thirty years, Exodus International, an umbrella group for ‘ex-gay’ ministries, has used fear tactics and propaganda to recruit victims.

The organization usually relies on the testimonies of paid staff or political lobbyists to deceive Americans into believing the gay can be prayed away.

The Talking Truth campaign will finally let people hear from the vast majority of clients – not those on a right wing group’s payroll – who found that Exodus and other ‘ex-gay’ organizations offer false hope.

“We are airing these stories on the internet, because this is where most vulnerable gay people will search for information about homosexuality,” said TWO Board member and Exodus victim, Rev. Jerry Stephenson, who appeared in a Talking Truth video.

In the first video – which is in the format of a public service announcement – Shawn O’Donnell, a victim of New Hope, an Exodus affiliate in California, warns those thinking of entering ex-gay programs that he wasted 10 years of his life and $45,000 trying to change.

In a second video, Mr. O’Donnell discusses how members of his ex-gay group used to cruise the mall for men each Sunday, highlighting the ineffectiveness of Exodus.

In a third, similarly formatted video, Rev. Jerry Stephenson, formerly a Southern Baptist minister who now counsels ‘ex-gay’ victims, urges others not to follow in his footsteps, by dedicating years of their life pursuing a cruel, mentally abusive hoax.

In a final video – edited in a longer format Victoria Lavin discusses how she wasted thirty years trying to go from gay to straight. Her long journey included prayer, dating men, substance abuse and finally the realization while in recovery that she was fine, just the way she was.

Truth Wins Out will add new video testimonies to its collection throughout the year. This ongoing educational campaign will look at this issue from many different angles and allow victims to help expose the ‘ex-gay’ myth, as the sham it truly is.

Additionally, Truth Wins Out urges all former ex-gays to attend a survivor’s conference sponsored by Beyond Ex-Gay and SoulForce at the University of California Irvine from June 29 to July 1.

“This conference is a terrific opportunity to tell your story and meet other people who share similar experiences,” said Besen, who plans on attending.

“Truth Wins Out is excited about this historic gathering and thinks it will help get the truth out about the ex-gay myth, as well as assist people who are still recovering from their time in ex-gay programs.”

Source: GayWired.com – Former ‘Ex Gays’ Urged to Participate in Campaign and Save Lives – – Truth Wins Out launched its ‘Talking Truth’ intern

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