Back in 2005, I wrote about a then-sixteen-year-old teenager in Cordova, Tennessee who was forced to enter an “ex-gay” program to try to turn him straight. The program, Love in Action (Refuge), was brought to national notoriety by the boy’s plight and attracted commentaries from GLBT activist all over the country.
I’ve just learned of a major development. Love in Action has officially dissolved Refuge, their teen “ex-gay” live-in program. Peterson Toscano, a former client of Love in Action had this to say:
Tonight, Morgan [Fox] made a very important announcement that he included at the end of his trailer [of his up coming documentary film that chronicles the 2005 protests of Love in Action’s Refuge program]. He met with John Smid, director of LIA and confirmed that the Refuge program had been “dissolved” which is a fancy way of saying that it shut down, closed, ended and is no more!
As we watched Morgan’s clips many of us wept. One person in attendance actually attended LIA that summer during the protests but was never able to read what the signs said. The love he saw moved him to tears.
This is HUGE news. Congratulations to the QAC for all their fine and careful activism. As we commemorate the two year anniversary of the 2005 protests, we truly have something to celebrate.
This is indeed big news. The state of Tennessee investigated Refuge last year after learning that clients were being dispensed medications by unlicensed personnel. Finally, after two years of scrutiny, it’s over. Refuge is no more.
My biggest hope is that people will begin to realize that gay teens need support, not reparative therapy. They need hope, not coercion. Finally, they need genuine love, not a self-centered kind of love that only applies if they fit within a mold of heterosexual impersonation.
Special thanks to Jim Johnson for the tip.