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’Ex-Gay’ Group to Host Palm Beach Event

by Sergio N. Candido
Monday Sep 10, 2012

People Can Change, a nonprofit for "men who have successfully transitioned away from unwanted homosexuality" will be hosting an event in Palm Beach from Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

According to its website, the event will work like the somewhat infamous "healing therapy" sessions practiced by other "ex-gay" groups around the country.

"Journey Into Manhood is a 48-hour immersion in intensive emotional-healing work, designed specifically for men who are self-motivated and serious about resolving unwanted homosexual attractions," they write.

"We limit the use of classroom-style lectures. Instead, we create opportunities for you to experience healing, not just learn about it. One simple example: You won't just talk about what it is like to look another man in the eyes - you'll stand eye to eye with another man while we help you process whatever feelings might arise."

The exact location of the event is only revealed after participants register.

The group has also released a survey of 474 people from 19 different countries who have tried to get the gayness away from them. According to their "study," more than half (55 percent) said counseling was effective in "causing the frequency and intensity of their homosexual attractions to diminish."

California is about to ban gay teenagers and children from undergoing such therapy on the basis that homosexuality is not a medical disorder, Reuters reported.

Other "ex-gay" groups like Exodus, are changing their opinions on the effectiveness of gay healing therapy.

"I do not believe that cure is a word that is applicable to really any struggle, homosexuality included," Alan Chambers, the leader of Orlando-based Exodus, told The Advocate.

Rich Wyler, the founder and director of People Can Change, still disagrees.

"Hundreds of people are telling us their counseling worked, they benefited significantly, it helped them feel better about themselves -- and in some cases it even saved their lives," Wyler said.

"Their voices have been largely silenced or ignored by pro-gay activists and mainstream media in favor of a more politically correct view, but the experience of these men and women is real. It is valid. They can tell you from firsthand experience that counseling to reduce homosexuality can be effective, even life-saving. Their voluntary choice to pursue change deserves respect."

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