Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 12:31 p.m.
We mentioned on Monday that a coterie of local pro-gay-rights groups were organizing a counter-conference to critique the convention being held in Irvine by Christian "cure the gays" organization Exodus International next week.
Now, we have the details on a planned protest, as well as a preview from Exodus founder-turned-apostate Michael Bussee as to what he'll be speaking about at this weekend's "It's Not a Choice" event.
On Saturday, June 26 from 4 to 6 p.m., people will gather at the corner of Ridgeline Drive and University Drive in Irvine to publicly object to the Exodus conference at Concordia University. According to the Facebook
event, the "key words" for the protest's signs will be "LOVE, SUPPORT and POSITIVITY. For example, 'Gay is OK,' 'I love my lesbian daughter,' 'Trans teens need love, not therapy,' or 'OC Loves its Queers!'"
This coming Saturday, though, will see the counter-Exodus conference. Bussee, who co-founded Exodus in 1976 and was the subject of a 2007 Weekly cover story
, will speak. He has already spoken out a lot about Exodus's founding, his own struggles with his sexuality and why he believes Exodus has become a destructive organization.
But this time, Bussee tells us, he'll be revealing some never-before-discussed details about Exodus's co-founders who can now be classified as ex-ex-gay. "Exodus likes to say that [co-founder] Gary [Cooper] and I were the only two that returned to the quote-unquote gay lifestyle," he says. "That's definintely not true."
He says he'll also talk about how the Exodus that exists today has veered off course from the Exodus envisioned at its first conference, in Anaheim in 1976. "We always intended it to be a little support network for gay Christians trying to reconcile their sexuality and their spirtuality," he says. Instead, it's taken on political causes and played a role in the drafting of a draconian, controversial anti-gay law in Uganda.
Another problem he has with Exodus? "They're advertising [this conference] as a 35th birthday party," he says. "They can't count. It's their 34th."
The "It's Not a Choice: Orange County LGBT Affirmation Conference," where Bussee will speak, is happening this Saturday at Irvine United Congregational Church from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More details here