First Annual "Ex-Gay Pride Month" Announced
Calling all ex-gays, parents and friends of ex-gays and allies. Sponsorships are being sought, speakers are being courted, a rally on the mall in the capital is being planned and a presidential proclamation has been requested, for the First Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Day, part of the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month, organized by Voice of the Voiceless, an offshoot group of ex-gay ministry, the International Healing Foundation.
A press release dated June 17 reads
"Voice of the Voiceless Announces July 2013 as First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month
Ex-Gays Call on The White House to Commemorate Unique Contributions
Voice of the Voiceless (VoV) is excited to announce the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month in July 2013! If you or your organization is interested in partnering to help sponsor our Ex-Gay Pride Awareness Day on the Washington, DC National Mall and Evening Dinner/Reception...
We are actively working to receive a Presidential Proclamation from The White House to commemorate Ex-Gay Pride Month and are speaking with members of Congress to recognize and participate in our first annual Awareness Event on the National Mall and Evening Dinner/Reception in Washington, DC. "
A letter to the White House from Voice of the Voiceless Co-Founder and Acting Director Christopher Doyle, MA dated June 18 reads
"Dear Mr. President,
Our office has left multiple voice messages for the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Voice of the Voiceless is a public advocacy organization of ex-gays that represents tens of thousands of former homosexuals. As you may know, former homosexuals are now recognized as a legally protected class in Washington, D.C. (see: PFOX v. Government of the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights, No. 08-003662, slip. op. at *5-6 (D.C. Super. Ct. June 26, 2009)).
As such, we have established July 2013 as the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month, and are seeking a meeting with you or a senior member of your civil rights staff to discuss a Presidential Proclamation, as you have issued in previous years, including this year, for June’s Gay Pride Month.
We would also like to discuss tolerance for the ex-gay community and how The White House can ensure equal access for ex-gays in the nation’s capital, which is the only jurisdiction that recognizes ex-gays as a legally protected class. "
The June 17 Press release issued by Voice of the Voiceless describes Ex-Gay Pride as a "time to recognize the unique experiences of ex-gays and former homosexuals and celebrate their existence in American culture" further stating that its timing was strategically planned for "July, after June’s annual gay pride month, in order to draw attention to the ever-increasing phenomenon of ex-gays or former homosexuals; that is, individuals who formerly had unwanted same-sex attractions and/or lived an LGBT-identified life, but now do not. These individuals may be in heterosexual relationships, pursuing heterosexuality, or living celibate lives as former homosexuals."
According to press notes, organizers of the event plan "to hold at least one event in Washington, DC in July to commemorate the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month. Because Washington, DC is the only jurisdiction that recognizes ex-gays as a protected class against discrimination in the United States, we believe this is a safe place to gather and celebrate free from any threat of intimidation."
The organization behind Ex-Gay Pride Month, is an offshoot group of Christian ex-gay ministry the International Healing Foundation called "Voice of the Voiceless," who according to their website are "the only anti-defamation organization dedicated to defending the rights of former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families."
Information on Ex-Gay Pride Month was released one day prior to the announcement that Exodus International, ex-gay ministry and Southern Poverty Law Center hate group designee was ceasing operations after 37 years.