June 29, 2012 11:31 am ET - by Carlos Maza
On July 26, the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) Ruth Institute will hold its fourth annual “It Takes A Family To Raise A Village” (ITAF) conference, a weekend-long event that teaches college students to defend “natural marriage” by introducing them to a slew of rabidly anti-gay speakers and reading material.
NOM’s 2012 ITAF conference is being held at the Skyline Wesleyan Church, an evangelical Christian megachurch located in La Mesa, California and headed by notorious right-wing pastor (and Glenn Beck buddy) Jim Garlow.
NOM’s conference won’t be the first anti-gay event held at the church. In March 2010, Skyline hosted a “Love Won Out” conference organized by Exodus International -- one of the biggest “ex-gay” groups in the world. According to Exodus’ press release, the conference featured “former homosexuals” explaining how they overcame homosexuality through the power of prayer:
Exodus International, the largest international ministry addressing faith and same-sex attraction, will discuss how the church can more effectively reach a group of people that often go ignored or unnoticed when it brings the Love Won Out conference to Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego on March 6. Pastor Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor of Skyline Church, says this event is needed in California and will help many Christians to knowledgably reach those touched by the issue of homosexuality.
Opponents of “ex-gay” therapy launched a “Just Love” counter-conference in response, but Skyline has remained committed to promoting the widely discredited practice. According to the church’s website, Skyline hosts a weekly support group for people dealing with “same sex attraction issues”:
Thursdays, 7 pm in Room 415
A support group lead by facilitator Tedd Darby, dedicated to ministering to same sex attraction issues.
Skyline is also listed as one of Exodus International’s affiliates in California.
Skyline’s head of counseling, Dr. Don Welch, will be speaking about “Strengthening Your Marriage” during NOM’s ITAF conference. It’s unclear if Skyline’s “ex-gay” talking points will make it into Welch’s presentation, but, considering some of the other anti-gay speakers at the conference, he wouldn’t be alone if they did.
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