The parents of a US student who is thought to be in ‘ex-gay’ therapy have threatened legal action over a website set up to find him, his boyfriend has said.

Bryce Faulkner, 23, is believed to be at an Exodus International ministry in Florida after his parents discovered he was gay.

His friends have said he had no choice as his parents took away his phone, his car and his money.

His boyfriend Trarvis Swanson, 24, and gay rights activist Reverend Brett Harris have set up a website urging people to help find him.

Swanson told PinkNews.co.uk: “Bryce‚Äôs parents both called me and left messages threatening lawsuits and have contacted Rev Harris saying the same thing. They said they want [the website] removed immediately.

“They have been informed that the only way that will happen is if Bryce tells me face to face alone that he wants it down. Mrs Faulkner assures us that will never happen. We told her in that case the site and movement will continue forward stronger than ever.

“She keeps telling us Bryce has known about the site for weeks and has talked to reporters about how silly it is but she refuses to say which publications they belong to. He has not talked to any that I have talked to, which is many from around the world.”

Last week, Swanson said he had spoken Faulker briefly as he was being taken to the ministry.

In the tearful phone call, Faulkner described the “hateful” things he had been told about his homosexuality and described being made to read Bible passages.

Swanson said a friend of the family had heard Faulkner would be in Mississippi for three weeks and then in Florida for 14 months.

Exodus International has six ministries and 16 churches in Florida. Swanson believes Faulkner may be at one in Pensacola.

The church movement promises “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ”.

Gay rights activists have said the controversial therapy does not work and can be deeply damaging.

It typically involves repeating Bible passages, periods of silence and no contact with the outside world.

To send messages of support to Faulkner’s friends, visit savebryce.ergonomicalministries.org