Support builds as LGBTQ groups call on Orange County to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) Heather Wilkie, Andrew Chang and Eric Rollings are among the community leaders helping to ban conversion therapy in Orange County. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), One Orlando Alliance, The Trevor Project and the Zebra Coalition.

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Petition launched in Central Florida demands Orange County ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County, Florida has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, The Trevor Project, Zebra Coalition, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) and One Orlando Alliance.

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Overheard in Orlando: Alan Chambers’ book, Sonique and more Mojoman

By : Anonymous
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Totally Exodus
Former Exodus International president Alan Chambers has written a book with his wife, and they’re inviting you to a release party at the Writer’s Block Bookstore in Winter Park on October 2.

After 12 years of serving as the president of Exodus, Alan Chambers and the board closed the nonprofit that was geared to Ex-Gaying the Gays. Since then, his bio claims he’s made great strides towards building relationships with the LGBTQIA (your acronym is growing!) community and has encouraged the global church to do the same. The book is supposed to tell his story: a committed believer who has same-sex attractions, an author, a husband and a father.

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Former Exodus International headquarters sold

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – After being on the market since December 2012, the Orlando headquarters of Exodus International, Inc. have been sold to a private entity.

The sale comes after the June 2013 announcement that the world’s largest “ex-gay” organization, which has spent nearly 40 years providing “reparative” therapy to thousands of Christian gays seeking to live a “righteous” life as a heterosexual, would be shut down. Former Exodus president Alan Chambers publicly apologized to the gay community for any damages the controversial ministry may have caused.

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Exodus’ closure is a small victory for survivors of programs promoting ex-gay therapy

By : Steve Blanchard
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When Tampa resident Gabe Alves learned that Exodus International, the Orlando-based, Christian “conversion therapy” organization, closed its doors in June, he had a mixed reaction. He was happy to hear that the headline-making anti-gay organization that promised to “cure” gay men and women had finally shut down after nearly four decades in operation. But he’s concerned about the many other organizations continuing the practice Exodus abandoned.

“Exodus needed to close,” Alves says. “That’s a good thing. But reparative therapy isn’t gone. There are many other programs that still exist and they try to convince gay people that they can be cured, even though nothing is wrong with them.”

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A brief history of ex-gay therapy

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1900 Shortly before the turn of the 20th century, physician Denslow Lewis publishes that he believes women brought up in wealthy families could develop “sexual hyperesthesi” (excessive sensitivity to stimuli) and become lesbians. In order to cure these women, the doctor prescribes cocaine solutions and surgical removal of “adherent clitorises.”

1957 In the mid-20th century, researcher Gunther Dorner of the Institute of Experimental Endocrinology hypothesizes that altering hormonal imbalances in the womb could prevent homosexuality before it developed.

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Watermark interviews former Exodus figurehead Alan Chambers

By : Susan Clary
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Alan Chambers has spent the last dozen years trying to “cure” homosexuality in the name of Jesus Christ as the executive director of Exodus International. It was his own personal story of setting aside gay feelings to marry a woman in the name of religion that inspired his desire to empower others to do the same.

Last month, the Winter Park native went on national television to offer an apology for those efforts and for hurting followers in the process. He said he was shutting down the world’s largest “ex-gay” organization, which has spent nearly 40 years providing “reparative” therapy to thousands of Christian gays seeking to live a “righteous” life as a heterosexual. Responses have ranged from bewildered to elated.

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