It’s 2014 and here we are in the public conversation still trying to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be queer in Georgia, but I find it par for the course—I’m 22 and a lifetime resident of the s...
LGBT rights activists are gearing up to counter an upcoming visit to Georgia by Exodus International, which brings its “Love Won Out” conference to Villa Rica on Feb. 18.
The Queer Justice League, the Southern Poverty Law Center, GetEqual and Truth Wins Out are coming together to educate the public at a community discussion at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer on Feb. 16 and also planning a protest at the “Love Won Out” conference at Midway Church in Villa Ricca on Feb. 18.
The organization at the center of their ire is Exodus International, a 35 year old “ministry committed to encouraging, educating and equipping the Body of Christ to address the issue of homosexuality with grace and truth” according to its website.
Protest of 'ex-gay' ministry today in Villa Rica
President Barack Obama briefly mentioned gay soldiers in his third State of the Union address last night.
Sitting in attendance with First Lady Michelle Obama were Loreliei Kilker and Cononel Ginger Wallace, two out and proud lesbian women. Kilker was awarded a monetary settlement after an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigation found systemic sex discrimination at her previous employment. Wallace and her partner, Kathy Knoph, participated together in Wallace's recent promotion ceremony, the first promotion ceremony featuring a same-sex couple after the repeal of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy.
The president didn't mention either Kilker or Wallace in his address. His only mention of anything close to acknowledging the gay rights struggle came just four paragraphs from the end of his speech.
Which brings me back to where I began. Those of us who’ve been sent here to serve can learn from the service of our troops. When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight. When you’re marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you’re in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one Nation, leaving no one behind.
Reaction to the speech was mixed among gay rights groups.
Atlanta's Queer Justice League announced today plans to protest an upcoming “ex-gay” conference to be held in Villa Rica, Ga. on Feb. 18. The conference is being organized by Exodus International, a religious organization whose mission is “helping others live a life that reflects the Christian faith and to encouraging the global, Christian church to model Christ-like compassion to a hurting world.”
The conference, Love Won Out – Atlanta, will feature Christian “experts” on homosexuality and will address how the church can respond to "homosexual lifestyles with the truth and grace of Christ.” The conference will be held at Midway Church.
Organizers from the QJL, Act Out Savannah, GetEQUAL, Truth Wins Out and the Southern Poverty Law Center are calling for volunteers to protest the anti-gay conference.