‘Ex-gay’ activists tried to hold a rally but hardly anyone turned up
‘Ex-gay’ and ‘ex-trans’ activists have held a march promoting gay conversion therapy – and it was attended by just 36 people.
Saturday’s Freedom March in Washington DC was a fundamentalist Christian event which promoted the idea that people can gain “freedom from homosexual/transgender lifestyles by the grace and power of Jesus Christ.”
The march was organised by Voice of the Voiceless, a group that claims that ‘ex-gay’ people are unfairly treated by society, and advocates for the use of gay conversion therapy for people who wish to ‘change’ their sexual orientation.
On its website, Voice of the Voiceless claims: “For too long former homosexuals, individuals who experience unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA), and their families have been marginalised and misrepresented.”
Voice of the Voiceless president Daren Mehl described the event to the Christian Post prior to the march.
Mehl said the Freedom March was “an opportunity for those of us who have a new life with Jesus to come together in fellowship and praise Him for the love and grace available to everyone who seeks it [and] to testify publicly of the life-changing grace available to leave the LGBT identity for something greater.”
Posts to the event’s Facebook page advocate for the belief that “homosexuals can change” and promote stories of “former homosexuals” who claim to have been ‘cured.’
Despite the large amount of posts on social media advertising the event, just three dozen people attended the rally.
One of the people who showed up was Pulse shooting survivor Luis Ruiz, who had heavily promoted the march on social media.
Ruiz was injured in the June 2016 attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people, including several of his friends, dead.
Many of the survivors have since joined forces with the survivors of the nearby Parkland school shooting in order to campaign for gun control.
However, Ruiz, who underwent a religious conversion in the wake of the tragedy, now identifies as ‘ex-gay.’
In a Facebook post before the event, Ruiz wrote: “I am Marching May 5th of 2018 because I am free.
“FREE from: REJECTION – DEPRESSION – DEATH – SUICIDE – IDENTITY THEFT IN CHRIST – LIES – CHEATING – PORNOGRAPHY – LUST – SEXUAL PERVERSION – DRUGS AND SO MANY MORE.
“Come join us in Washington DC for this fight that has already been won at the cross for our freedom.”
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He added: “It’s not a GAY to STRAIGHT thing but a LOST TO SAVED thing.”
Another attendee was right-wing online campaigner Elizabeth Johnston, also known as ‘Activist Mommy,’ who recently caused controversy after she claimed that LGBT groups are “sneaking into schools” to “rape the minds” of children.
Speaking at the rally, Johnston said: “I believe those who choose to engage in homosexual sin also have the right not to engage in homosexuality, and they have the choice to seek therapy for their unnatural and unwanted desires.”
Organisers of the Freedom March have said that they hope it will become an annual event.