(11/9/10 UPDATE: For an in-depth description of my time at the Soulforce Symposium, click here.)
Soulforce, an LGBT organization founded by Mel White, will be hosting a symposium in Philadelphia in protest of a NARTH conference taking place therein. NARTH, as you may recall, is an "ex-gay" organization that supports dubious research on so-called "reparative therapy. Some factions of the Religious Right have supported "reparative therapy", despite accusations that such therapy is ineffective and harmful.
Soulforce Symposium: The Truth About Faith, Science, Love, and Reparative Therapy will take place on November 5-7 at the William Way Center and Historic Courtyard Marriott Downtown, 21 N. Juniper Street, Philadelphia, PA. More information on the symposium can be found at the Soulforce website here. The symposium agenda/program book can be downloaded here.
Mel White, a former speechwriter and ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Billy Graham, took part in attempted but futile "cures" for his homosexuality. After leaving the Religious Right and coming out as a gay man, he founded Soulforce in 1998. His autobiography, Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America, charts his sexual and spiritual journey. For more information on Mel White, visit his website here.
Now I have a dilemma. Do I attend the LiftMyLuggage protest outside the NARTH conference, or do I attend the Soulforce Symposium? Choices!
Philadelphia Gay News posted an article on the upcoming symposium, available below.
Philadelphia Gay News: National LGBT Group Stages Anti-"Ex-Gay" Weekend