Friday, April 01, 2011

Australians Tell U.S. Ex-gay….Not Here Thanks!

Read about the success of this campaign here  and here 
Tweet: 1 Apr 2011 :Anthony Venn-Brown "message from Aussie #exgaysurvivors to all USA 'ex-gays' thinking of coming to Australia to speak. "Don't bother"

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An American ex-gay preacher, invited to speak in some Australian churches (Miracle Christian Center’s), is learning his message, that God ‘cures’ people of homosexuality, is not welcome in this country. One of the venues booked for his talk has withdrawn permission to use their premises. The venue originally booked was St Columbian’s Catholic College in Caboolture Queensland.

Possibly things have changed more in Australia then we realise with the principal of the school stating on their site that “St Columbian’s College is a caring, inclusive community, and we will not allow our facilities to be used by those seeking to promote views which are not in line with the Catholic Christian ethos of our community”.

Adam Hood, a self professed former homosexual, gained some notoriety last year when videos were released claiming that he was once an extravagant, card-carrying gay man, living in San Francisco with a handsome boyfriend whilst heavily involved in drugs and Satanism.  Hood tells the interviewer he has now been delivered from homosexuality and when he first had sex with wife he screamed “Jesus” because he loves women and his wife’s body.

Many had difficulty believing Hood’s story and originally some thought the video was a joke. Hood squeals, flays his hands about and is dressed like a flamboyant interior designer who has no qualms letting everyone knowing he is gay.

But Hood gets down to the core of his message. ‘Homosexuality is an abomination. It’s a sin God will dam. If they stay in that sin they will be dammed to hell and rightly so because they need to be quarantined. Homosexuals are straight up lost. Lost because they didn’t have fathers or were sexually abused by some man. Homosexuality is one of the worst forms of depravity.”

Anthony Venn-Brown, co-founder of Freedom 2 b[e], who has helped many former ex-gays, says this seems like a last ditch attempt for American ex-gay groups to try and claw back the ground that has been lost here in Australia over the last decade. Venn-Brown went through Australia’s first ex-gay program in the early 70’s but like so many who originally went down that track, is now living as an openly gay man and assists ex-gay survivors find resolution from what he calls ‘years of unnecessary torment’.

“The ex-gay message in Australia and other parts of the world is being watered down and becoming more and more redundant. The message Adam is preaching is extremely outdated. This was the message of the ex-gay movement in the 70’s. Once they realised it didn’t work the message changed and here in Australia there is not one group I know of who would boldly claim they can make the gay go away”. Venn-Brown said. They have had to change their message because the reality is no-one changes their sexual orientation even if they do get married and have children. Through telling our stories, former ex-gay leaders apologising and sharing their new perspectives, the support of Pentecostal and Evangelical church leaders, we have changed the landscape here. Ex-gay ministries are in decline in Australia.  Even Exodus International’s Senior Director of Church Equipping & Student Ministries, Jeff Buchanan, told The Christian Post last week, “In no way shape or form is our message about trying to cure or do we try to promote that type of methodology or message.”  Venn-Brown added.

Paul Martin, an openly gay man, psychologist, and former ex-gay leader himself, blew the whistle on Hood’s visit when he was contacted by a troubled student about the upcoming event in Caboolture.

“Nobody I met whilst being a leader in the Exodus movement actually changed and the people who were married would end up telling me that they’d created a private hell as they hadn’t changed at all, and lived in a state of permanent distress. The potential psychological carnage that can come out of these seminars both indirectly and directly is palpable. I’ve spent over 20 years counselling survivors of these groups, some who attempted suicide.” Martin said.

According to Venn-Brown, Miracle Christian Centre is a fringe Pentecostal group which have set up an independent network away from mainstream Christianity which is probably why they invited Hood.

Venn-Brown concluded “Australian society has become more informed about sexuality and accepting of gay and lesbian people. Adams message is not only irrelevant and unwelcome…. it’s damaging. We refuse to go back to our days of ignorance. Please enjoy our beautiful country Adam but don’t pollute it with your toxic message of self loathing”.

Hood is currently booked to tell his story in community halls in Melbourne hired by Miracle Christian Center this weekend. The gay community it asking the councils responsible for hiring the venues, to follow the lead of St Columbian’s College in Caboolture.

We ask all LGBT people, their family and friends to email the Mayors of Dandenong and Prahran, respectfully requesting they do the same.

Please make sure that communication is rational and non-hateful……unlike Mr Hoods message.

Email details are: 

Below is my email to the Mayors as an example.

Dear ………..

I have attached a press release I have just sent out about Adam Hood who I am sure you are aware of now is speaking at a venue hired out by your council this weekend.

You may not be aware of the ex-gay movement or its message that Mr Hood represents. Basically it is that homosexuality as an orientation is flawed, gay and lesbian people go to hell and that if people turn to Jesus then they can go from gay to straight.

I have been working in this area for many years with people who have been through programs after adopting the ex-gay message. Great harm is experienced by people in these situations including mental health issues attempts to suicide and we know of too many cases where some have succeeded in taking their own lives. This is a great tragedy.

As the Mayor of …………, can I please respectfully ask that the council look into this and cancel the proposed use of the venue this weekend as has already been done by St Columbian’s Catholic College in Caboolture Queensland..

Australia is a country that has moved on from its ignorance about sexual orientation and the message Adam is preaching that being gay is a sin and that people can change is not only false but incredibly damaging to those who are struggling coming to terms with who they are.

Sincerely

Anthony Venn-Brown
An Ambassador for the LGBT Community
Co-convenor of Freedom 2 b[e]
Honoured to be on the 2007 & 2009 list of the  25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian Australians

10 comments:

  1. Dont just email the mayors because it just may be too late for them to act. also email the council's CEO as they can act much faster on these issues.

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  2. great email from Baptist Pastor

    Dear Mayor Blades,

    I’ve been reading with interest of the visit by Adam Hood to Dandenong this weekend.

    Obviously the issue of homosexuality causes some heated debate in many areas. I’ve been involved in working with the gay and lesbian community for over 15 years now and have seen firsthand how fierce the arguments can be.

    In that time, the one thing that has saddened me is the way so many organizations seem to know what’s best for a gay person without ever asking them directly. While the scientists and religious people argue about whether somebody’s sexual orientation can change or not, a gay person is left abandoned and alone, struggling to know the way forward. Often they are left with feelings of intense shame and guilt because of something they can’t control, and in the worst cases are driven to suicide.

    As an ordained minister in the Baptist church, I am horrified by the lack of compassion shown to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. While organizations like the Miracle Christian Centre might have good intentions, the information they use is flawed and dangerous, and the message is driving young gay and lesbian people to lives of despair.

    I do not want to conduct another funeral of a gay person who has taken their own life. This is why I am writing to ask that you consider putting a stop to the presentation by Adam Hood and the Miracle Christian Centre before any more damage is done.

    If you would like to talk further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

    Best Regards,

    Reverend Matt Glover
    Senior Pastor
    Lilydale Baptist Church

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  3. WOW!!!! What an amazing awareness - Narelle - mother of gay son.

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  4. Thank you for that cogent quote from Paul Martin, and for sharing Matt Glover's letter. Mark (a fellow survivor)

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  5. This is all really interesting - like you say Adam is nothing like the "careful" leaders of Exodus with his wording. It's something out of the 70s, for sure!

    I think it's all very encouraging Anthony, that this event was shut down in Qld in a blink of an eye.

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  6. I rang and left a message for the Mayor of Dandenong with my objection - the phone number is 03 - 9239 5100.

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  7. email from the mayor of Prahran

    Dear Anthony,

    Thank you for sharing your concern with me about this matter.

    The advertised event at Grattan Gardens Community Centre is not a Council-run or Council-sponsored event.

    Whilst Grattan Gardens Community Centre is owned by Council, bookings are made and managed through the New Hope Foundation which manages and operates the facility, so Council was not aware of the event taking place until it was brought to our attention by the community.

    The City of Stonnington is a supportive, inclusive and vibrant municipality that embraces diversity.

    Given the nature of the event and the safety concerns that have been raised, Council has requested that New Hope Foundation cancel the event.


    Kind Regards

    Cr Melina Sehr JP,
    Mayor of the City of Stonnington

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  8. Dandenong, Parhran councils and Caboolture have all cancelled the Adam Hood events. three out of three aint bad. Thanks to all those who made the effort to raise awareness

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  9. Adam hood is currently in school for fashion design at City College San Francisco. It is a laugh you should see him. He is just as Nelly as can be....Question why would he get involved with fashion design...answer to stay close to the network...to live vicariously through other gays. What do you think they would say if they saw this video? How is he going to work with gays in the design industry when he thinks we are an abomination?
    If you watch the video he says homosexuality is an abomination. That we live tortured lives. If we live torched lives it is because Adam and his flock will not let us live our lives without the constant borage of anti-homosexual rants. He blames it on witches and Satan worship, something that went out in SALEM. He blames in on that only because he believes in that. A % of what he says is true about the gay culture. It is also true about the straight culture. The black culture the Asian culture the Hispanic culture and so on it is part of the culture's problems. He only discuses the gay side. He is an EX-GAY like an ex-employee, ex-boyfriend, and expatriate. He is not EXTRAORDINARY. He is simply someone who was dissatisfied with his life and made a change. If you watch the video he still thinks of a man when he has sex with his wife.

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  10. thanks for the update anonymous. I wonder what he will call his fashion label : ABOMINATION :

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