LGBT activists held a dance party and gay kiss-in outside of a gay conversion therapy conference in San Diego this weekend.
The conference was organized by the Restored Hope Network, who described the event as an “interdenominational membership governed network dedicated to restoring hope to those broken by sexual and relational sin, especially those impacted by homosexuality.”
Among the scheduled workshops and panel discussions, the gathering also featured a series of “inspiring life stories of those who have dealt with same-sex attraction or transgenderism and been transformed by the living God.”
To rally against the event’s blatant homophobia, activists of the San Diego Coalition Against Gay Conversion threw a “Dance Against Abuse” party on Saturday outside the church where the conference was being held.
“Our goals are to reclaim the faith narrative and to communicate that LGBTQ+ individuals are not broken, do not need healing, are purposely and wonderfully made and are loved and accepted just as they/we are,” the party’s invitation read.
Protesters arrived with brightly colored glow sticks and signs decrying conversion therapy, which has been proven time and time again to not only be ineffective, but also extremely dangerous.
“We are saying not just to San Diego, but to people who come from all over the country, that no matter where our LGBTQ youth live, they deserve to be accepted the way they are,” organizer Lianna Schechter told The San Diego Union-Tribune.
This May, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge against California’s ban on gay conversion therapy, which went into effect in 2012.
The lawsuit was brought to the court by a Christian minister who alleged that the ban infringed on his religious rights.