According to The Fresno Bee, a dozen protesters held a vigil outside, organized by a local church. The vigilers included a former ex-gay who said that, contrary to claims by Exodus president Alan Chambers, ex-gays generally do not go on to have healthy heterosexual relationships.
[Christa] Lisbon — one of the protesters — said she grew up in a Christian household believing homosexuality is wrong. Lisbon said she participated in a ministry event in Fresno four years ago that was similar to the Exodus program. Then she tried to live a straight lifestyle. Her partner did the same.
She concluded that her sexual orientation was not a sin.
“After many years of praying and hoping, we realized that wasn’t the truth,” she said.
“A lot of programs like Exodus cause a lot of self hate and self violence.”
She now attends a twice-monthly worship service geared toward gays and lesbians at Wesley United Methodist Church in Fresno.
Paris Morse of Fresno protested with her 5-month-old baby in her arms and several of the five children she and her partner adopted.
Carlos Streeter, 46, of Visalia, claimed to have benefited from ex-gay therapy, but he offered no concrete evidence of change and local media apparently did not ask Streeter why he or Exodus support discrimination against gay people.
KSFN-TV interviewed a representative of the church group that organized the vigil.
“There’s different sides of looking at this issue at homosexuality and the church. You don’t need to change. We’re here to make sure people know there’s options out there,” said Wendy Slack with Wesley Celebration.
Exodus Youth activist Mike Ensley responded to media coverage with a complaint that Exodus’ mission to promote “freedom from homosexuality” should not be characterized as a campaign to turn gay people straight.