June 27, 2005
Tennessee Department Of Children's Services Opens Investigation Of "Love In Action" Over Charges Of Child Abuse
The Tennessee Department of Children's Services announced this week that it
has received a complaint about child abuse in the "ex-gay" Love in Action
ministry, which was screened and found to have enough substance to open an
Protests against Love In Action began after a teenager named Zach posted
desperate messages to his blog, telling friends that after coming out to
his parents, he was being forced into the program. In one post, the teenager
discussed thoughts of suicide.
Love In Action director John Smid, dismissed as "ridiculous" accusations that
teens were being forced into the program against their will. However, during
a press conference the previous week, he asserted that the program is run "on
the will of the parents", and that parents had a Christian responsibility to
"to intervene on behalf of their children when deemed necessary."
Questions exist as to whether or not Love In Action has a license to run a
sex therapy program for minors in Tennessee . In December of 1998, The
American Psychiatric Association rejected reparative therapy as ineffective
and potentially destructive.
In 1997, Smid described to the Memphis Flyer how he believed God helped
people overcome homosexuality:
"I'm looking at that wall and suddenly I say it's blue. Someone else
comes along and says, 'No, it's gold.' But I want to believe that wall is
blue. Then God comes along and He says, 'You're right, John, [that yellow
wall] is blue.' That's the help I need. God can help me make that
[yellow] wall blue."
Copyright © June 26, 2005 by Bruce Garrett
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