LGBT community and religious leaders protest San Diego ‘conversion therapy’ conference
The LGBT community and religious leaders have joined forces in San Diego to protest a gay conversion therapy conference taking place this weekend.
Conversion therapy is psychological treatment or spiritual counseling designed to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Treatments in the past have included chemical castration, hormonal therapy, electroshock therapy, the use of nausea-inducing drugs and masturbatory reconditioning.
The conference has been organized by the Restored Hope Network, which aims “to help people who want to overcome sinful sexual desires, like being homosexual.”
Reverend Dan Koeshall, Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego and a survivor of conversion therapy, said:
“After years of therapy, from learning how to stuff my feelings and emotions and the damage this did to my psyche and self-esteem, I was able to finally realize God loved me for exactly who I was and I was not a mistake, but I was God’s miracle.”
Local council member Chris Ward, who will also be joining the protest, said: “This is San Diego, we are an inclusive community, this is not consistent with the values we share here.”
Ward added that conversion therapy is illegal in California.
The conference starts today at City View Church.