Inside the ex-gay movement

From the Ex-Gay Survivor Conferences to the 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference, Soulforce has played an active role in exposing the dangers of repartive therapy, challenging organizations like the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) through dialogue and direct action. In a recent expose for The Independent of London, investigative reporter Patrick Strudwick goes undercover to explore the harmful impact of repartive therapy in a piece entitled "The ex-gay files: The bizarre world of gay-to-straight conversion."


Frequently Asked Questions for Reporters about the Equality Ride

What is Soulforce Q?
Soulforce Q is the young adult division of Soulforce. Soulforce Q works to uplift the lives and liberties of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, working primarily with individuals between the ages of 18 and 28.

What is the Equality Ride?
The Equality Ride is a project that takes young LGBT advocates to colleges and universities in order to have meaningful conversations about fairness and diversity. Traveling by bus, Equality Riders, as they are called, engage their peers and promote open dialogue about faith, gender and sexuality. Schools they visit are contacted months in advance and invited to host the Equality Ride. Some schools choose to work with them, and they go on campus for presentations, panel discussions, classroom visits, and meals together. Some schools, however, choose to reject dialogue. In such cases, civil disobedience becomes a possibility, which can result in arrests.

Who are the Equality Riders?
They are young adults, age 18 to 28, from all over the world. Some are Christian, some are from other faith backgrounds, and some do not identify as religious. Some are students and some are not affilitated with any institution. The Co-Directors are full time Soulforce Q staff. Other Equality Riders are volunteers; they are not paid for their work.

What are the primary goals of the 2010 Soulforce Q Equality Ride?

  1. We often hear on campus, "I have never met any LGBT people." The Equality Ride accomplishes this first and most important step towards reconciliation: making the humanity and spirituality of LGBT people real to students across America. With dignity and scholarly dialogue, Riders convey to students and administration that real lives are affected by the harmful rhetoric promoted by many campuses.
  2. The Equality Ride and other campaigns of Soulforce Q work with young adults to build community and nurture leadership. The Equality Riders give voice to students that are silenced on campus. We draw together LGBT students and allies to form communities of informed dissent and safety.
  3. There are a handful of scriptures used to condemn LGBT people. We discuss the Biblical scholarship that affirms LGBT people, heard less often if at all, on conservative campuses.

How can I schedule an interview with the Equality Riders or students?
Contact the Equality Ride Co-Directors:

Andi Gentile,

Asher Kolieboi,

What happened today on the Equality Ride?
Each day participants will update the Equality Ride website with accounts of their time on campuses, podcasts and video when able.

Can I use the photos that are posted on the website?
Yes. If you visit our Resources for the Media page, high-resolution photos are available. Please attribute photo credit to the Soulforce Q Equality Ride.

An Open Letter to American Pastors on Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill by Soulforce Founder Mel White

Soulforce Logo

February 5, 2010

Open Letter from Soulforce to Jan and Paul Crouch, founders of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and the Evangelical Christian broadcasters who are featured on Lighthouse Television, TBN’s affiliate in Uganda, including:  Matthew Crouch, Joyce MeyerAndrew WommackBenny HinnKenneth CopelandJoel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, and Franklin Graham:

By now you are well aware of the anti-homosexual bill pending before the Parliament of Uganda. We urge you to denounce this bill.  Use your personal friendships with President and Mrs. Museveni, with MP David Bahati (your Christian colleague who proposed this bill) and with Stephen Langa, (the Ugandan Christian organizer behind the bill) to take a public and passionate stand against it.

The media are blaming the visit to Uganda by three of your colleagues for this despicable and truly un-Christian law.  In fact, for years you have used your Lighthouse Television programs, your radio broadcasts and your massive public meetings to warn Ugandans of the so called “threat homosexuals pose to Bible-based values and the traditional African Family.”

In no small part, you are already responsible for the current call by Ugandan leaders to enforce the old law condemning lesbian and gay Ugandans to up to 14 years in prison. This new law increases that sentence to life imprisonment and even death by hanging.  Denounce this new bill or the blood of lesbian and gay Ugandans will be on your hands.

It isn’t just the “liberal media” who are condemning the bill.  In mid-November, Exodus International, the ministry that promises to assist homosexuals in overcoming homosexuality, warned,  "If homosexual behavior and knowledge of such behavior is criminalized and prosecuted, as proposed in this bill, church and ministry leaders will be unable to assist hurting men, women and youth who might otherwise seek help in addressing this personal issue.” While Soulforce does not agree with Exodus that lesbian and gay people need to be "cured," we wholeheartedly agree with their position on this hateful bill.

Warren Throckmorton, a member of the Clinical Advisory Board of the American Association of Christian Counselors warned that this legislation would make their mission “to extend the love and compassion of Christ to all” a difficult if not impossible task.

Your colleague, mega-church pastor Rick Warren, in a very public video appeal to his fellow clergy in Uganda, gives five reasons why Ugandan Christians should not support the bill: (1) it is “unjust, extreme and un-Christian; (2) it would “force pastors to report their pastoral conversations with homosexuals to authorities; (3) “…it would have a chilling effect on your ministry to the hurting… homosexuals who are HIV positive will be reluctant to seek or receive care, comfort and compassion from our churches out of fear of being reported; (4)  “All life, no matter how humble or broken, whether unborn or dying, is precious to God… It would be inconsistent to save some lives and wish death on others…” And (5) “the freedom to make moral choices, and our right to free expression, are gifts endowed by God.” Warren reminds the clergy that Uganda is a democratic country “…and in a democracy everyone has a right to speak up.” Warren concludes by urging them “to speak out against the proposed law.” *

The People of Soulforce urge you to take these warnings seriously.  It is very possible that your silence on this matter will convince the people of Uganda that it is God’s will to condemn homosexuals to life imprisonment or even death by hanging. Your powerful media voices have made you superstars to Ugandans. We implore you to use your power to denounce this bill. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this time you and the Christian community behaved in the manner of love and justice rather than fulfilling the stereotype of the “liberal media” as ‘hate-filled bigots?

You often ask others, “What would Jesus do?”  This is the perfect time to ask yourselves that question.

The People of Soulforce

Mel White, Founder | Bill Carpenter, Interim Executive Director | Chuck Phelan, Board Chair

* We wish to express our thanks to the Rev. Rick Warren for taking this rather courageous step on behalf of the lesbian and gay people of Uganda. Pastor Warren did everything in his power to avoid meeting with our gay and lesbian parents and their families in 2009 during the Soulforce American Family Outing. We have tried on many occasions to help him understand the tragic consequences of his own teachings about homosexuality and homosexuals. And though we continue hoping that he will meet with a Soulforce delegation to hear the scientific, historic, psychological and personal evidence that homosexuality is one of God’s gifts, we pause in our pursuit just long enough to give him thanks for reaching out to save the lives of our lesbian sisters and gay brothers in Uganda. Thank you, Pastor Warren. We are grateful!


      This bill has been condemned by leaders of Western nations including the Prime Ministers of Canada, Australia, and Great Britain and the President of the United States. The European Parliament passed a resolution against the bill and threatened to cut financial aid to Uganda if it is enacted. They described the bill as “state-legislated genocide.”

      The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch urge Uganda to shelve the bill and decriminalize homosexuality.

      The 16,000 members of the HIV Clinicians Society of South Africa and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS warned that excluding marginalized groups would compromise efforts to stop the spread of AIDS in Uganda where 5.4% of the adult population is infected with HIV.

      The Sunday Times in South Africa warned Uganda that it is in danger of being "dragged back to the dark and evil days of Idi Amin.”
      The New York Times stated unequivocally “that such barbarism (in the bill) is intolerable and will make Uganda an international pariah.”
      The Washington Post labeled the bill "ugly and ignorant", "barbaric", and "that it is even being considered puts Uganda beyond the pale of civilized nations.”
      The Los Angeles Times warned that the bill would cause gay Ugandans to face an "impossible, insulting, historical, cruel and utterly false choice of having to choose between being gay and being African.”

      The Anglican Reverend Canon Gideon Byamugisha said that the Bill "would become state-legislated genocide.”

      The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has said in a public interview that he did not see how any Anglican could support it: "Overall, the proposed legislation is of shocking severity and I can’t see how it could be supported by any Anglican who is committed to what the Communion has said in recent decades. Apart from invoking the death penalty, it makes pastoral care impossible – it seeks to turn pastors into informers."

      The Vatican legal attach塚ィヘ妺ィヘ塚蔘_妺見 to the United Nations stated that "Pope Benedict is opposed to ‘unjust discrimination’ against gay men and lesbians.”


      Stephen Langa, the March 2009 workshop organizer, specifically cited an unlicensed conversion therapist named Richard A. Cohen who states in a book that was given to Langa and other prominent Ugandans,

“Homosexuals are at least 12 times more likely to molest children than heterosexuals; homosexual teachers are at least 7 times more likely to molest a pupil; homosexual teachers are estimated to have committed at least 25 percent of pupil molestation; 40 percent of molestation assaults were made by those who engage in homosexuality.”

      These statements were based on faulty studies performed by Paul Cameron who has been expelled from the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association. Cohen, himself, confirmed the weaknesses of these studies, stating that when the book will be reprinted, these statistics will be removed.


Jeffrey Gettleman, writing for theNew York Times, January 4, 2010, reported on “Americans’ Role in Uganda Anti-Gay Push.”

Erin Roach, posted on Baptist News, November 18, 2009, the news that “Exodus Opposes Uganda’s Proposed Anti-Gay Law.”

Baptist Press, December 13, 2009, announced that “Mega-Church Pastor Rick Warren Condemns Uganda Anti-Gay Bill.

The editors of Wikipedia have assembled the best history of this bill and the world’s response:

YouTube carries the complete video of Rick Warren’s Open Letter to the Clergy of Uganda*



Trinity Broadcasting Network
Business Office: (714) 832-2950
Trinity Broadcasting Network
P. O. Box A
Santa Ana, CA 92711

Matthew Crouch &

Joyce Meyer  
P.O. Box 655
Fenton, MO 63026
Phone: 1-800-727-9673
(636) 349-0303 (outside the U.S.)

Andrew Wommack
850 Elkton Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Admin. Phone: (719) 635-2111
Fax: (719) 635-1777 ,  Andrew Wommack Ministries, Inc.

Benny Hinn Ministries Headquarters
P.O. Box 162000
Irving, TX, 75016-2000
Kenneth Copeland
Kenneth Copeland Ministries
Fort Worth, TX 76192-0001
Telephone: 800-600-7395
Fax: 817-252-3499

Joel Osteen, 1-888-567-JOEL
PO BOX 4600
Houston, TX 77210

T. D. Jakes Ministries, Inc.
The Potters House
P. O. Box 5390
Dallas, TX  75208


Franklin Graham:
Samaritan’s Purse
P.O. Box 3000
Boone, NC 28607
Phone (828) 262-1980
Fax (828) 266-1056

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