Protest planned for controversial seminar on homosexuality - CBS46 News

Protest planned for controversial seminar on homosexuality

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Wayne Besen is the executive director of a gay rights group called Truth Wins Out.

"We are an organization that counters the ex-gay myth, which are those groups that try to pray away the gay. I believe ex-gay ministries are consumer fraud," said Besen.

Besen is in Atlanta to protest Love Won Out, a Christian-based seminar put on by Exodus International, which will take place at the Midway Church in Villa Rica on Saturday.
 
Jeff Buchanan is the executive vice president of that organization.

"We help people know how to reconcile their sexuality with their faith and to have the right to self-determine what that's going to be with their lives," said Buchanan.

At one time, both Buchanan and Besen lived as gay men. Besen still does. Buchanan doesn't.

"It was not an overnight process, but it's something I never regret turning back on. I am very happy with who I am today," said Buchanan.

Buchanan said he has been happily married to a woman for eight years.

"If you were to ask me, 'But do you experience temptation or thoughts from time to time?' I would have to honestly answer yes, but they don't look anything like they did 20 or 10 years ago. It's something that continues to evolve as I goes through this process," said Buchanan.

That process is what Buchanan said Exodus International preaches, but to Besen it's a joke.

"When pressed whether this works or not, they are only changing their sexual behavior not their orientation meaning who they are attracted to and who they love," said Besen.

Besen said Exodus International tries to change something that can't be changed.

"What they are hearing about is junk science, and these attempts to pray the gay away is nothing more than a fantasy," said Besen.

Buchanan countered that by calling the notion a myth.

"That is a label that is being given to us as that is not true. We do not believe in the pray-the-gay-away slogan that is going out there about us," said Buchanan.

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