Call on Congress to Investigate "Ex-Gay" Programs sign now

On June 6, 2005, a 16-year-old suburban Memphis, Tennessee, young man named Zach was forced against his will by his parents to enter a fundamentalist Christian-based program. Zach's parents forced him to enter the program after he disclosed to them that he is gay. The program, called "Refuge" and affliated with the Focus on the Family organization's "Love In Action" anti-gay ministry, is led by the Rev. John Smid. Smid identifies himself as an "ex-gay" person and has been quoted in the media as saying, "I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle."

Before he entered Refuge, Zach wrote about his fears in his online blog at:

Zach's story is only one of thousands. Young gays and lesbians are being forced to enter these religious-based programs where they are shamed and abused mentally and spiritually because some fundamentalist Christian groups believe erroneously that sexual orientation is a choice.

The reality is that sexual orientation is not a choice and such programs have been denounced by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association (among others) as harmful and dangerous.

We, the undersigned, demand that Congress open investigations into the practices of the so-called "conversion" programs and their secular counterparts, "reparative therapy," that claim to change sexual orientation.

We demand that minors, like Zach and countless others compelled to endure such abuse, be given the right not to be forced into these harmful and damaging programs against their will.

We demand that stringent supervision of young people in such programs be required by outside agencies and that these agencies be required to conduct follow-up interviews and studies with the young people so that an accurate measurement of such programs' success - or lack thereof - be documented independently of the claims of success rates made by ex-gay groups.

Lastly, we demand minors who are sent to such programs against their will have the right to sue their parents for emancipation.

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Latest Signatures

  • 04 December 201550. Joseph A
    This is the most discriminating of actions being allowed at this time toward gay people of any age must less a child. City, State k.c., mo
  • 10 September 201549. Katherine H
    I support this petition
  • 24 July 201548. Kristine C
    В City, State Kansas City MO
  • 15 June 201547. Amy Lf
    I support this petition
  • 10 November 201446. Nichoals C
    I support this petition
  • 07 April 201445. Ryan Jacobson
    I support this petition
  • 28 February 201444. P Leeb
    I support this petition
  • 21 January 201443. Lisa H
    I support this petition
  • 10 October 201342. Kate G
    В City, State В
  • 18 August 201341. Marcia W
    I support this petition
  • 07 November 201240. Kris G
    I support this petition
  • 19 September 201239. Mary B
    This is an outrageous injustice. Young men and women should not be forced into brainwashing cults to 'cure' them of homosexuality. What happened to this being the land of individual rights and freedoms? FREE ZACH! City, State Fort Pierce, FL
  • 19 August 201238. Robin Gl
    I can't believe that in this day and age such places exist! Such close-minded stupidity abounds!
  • 21 March 201237. Frank B
    I support this petition
  • 17 April 201136. Hillary L
    I support this petition
  • 22 March 201135. Jamie F
    I support this petition
  • 16 March 201134. Kat Singleton
    I support this petition
  • 07 January 201133. Christopher Mw
    I support this petition
  • 01 January 201132. Lib E
    I support this petition
  • 07 September 201031. Nadin A
    what is this country coming down to? City, State В
  • 30 June 201030. Daniel M
    I support this petition
  • 07 April 201029. Keith D
    I support this petition
  • 15 March 201028. Van B
    I support this petition
  • 23 February 201027. Terry C
    This is disgusting. Do something about it - that is why we elected you. Please - Do the RIGHT THING. Now. City, State Kansas City, MO USA
  • 09 February 201026. Lillie M
    I support this petition
  • 23 November 200925. Michael Mb
    I support this petition
  • 24 October 200924. Chris B
    Suicide is a tragedy in ANY situation, regardless of the context. I would guess that in, at least 75\% of the time, there is someone or some group that has either hurt, oppressed, or not reached out to someone. For a leader to say that this is the better

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Joann WheelerBy:
Petition target:
U.S. Congress


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