“Families never win at Love Won Out,” said Jane Schlittler, president of PFLAG’s Anchorage, Alaska chapter. “The conference’s organizers maliciously target often well-meaning parents who are dealing with a difficult issue in their lives, and in the process put their kids’ well-being at risk. Make no mistake: There is far more ‘preying’ than ‘praying’ taking place at these meetings, and far more harming than healing in the doctrine of Love Won Out.”
Programs such as Love Won Out, which is a project of the far-right American Family Association, use out-moded medical theories and radical religious beliefs to justify trying to alter gay and lesbian people's natural sexual orientation.
“Programs like Love Won Out are dangerous for kids and divisive for families,” said PFLAG National executive director Jody M. Huckaby. “Every bit of evidence available suggests that children who grow up in homes that accept them – and not try to change them – are far happier and healthier than those subjected to these anti-family tactics. It is nothing short of extremist to imply that families should do anything other than love their children as they are, and nothing short of outrageous to infer that LGBT kids aren’t fine just the way they are.”
Saturday’s event in Anchorage has sparked widespread attention and protest following reports that Wasilla Bible Church, where Republican Vice Presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin is a member, has endorsed the Love Won Out conference. In a statement, PFLAG noted that, “It is unfair, at this point, to assume that Governor Palin endorses so-called ‘ex-gay’ therapy like that espoused by Love Won Out,” but that “Saturday's event in Anchorage provides an important opportunity for the first GOP mom on the party's presidential ticket to make clear that she, as a mother and a public servant, will not condone, either explicitly or implicitly, such attempts at dividing our families and hurting our kids.”
“Palin, and lawmakers of both parties, should seize that opportunity,” PFLAG said, “and stand up as boldly and outspokenly for all of our kids as much as they do for their own.”