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Love In Action “Refuge” Youth Program Shut Down

Jim Burroway

July 1st, 2007

Remember Zach, the 16-year-old whose MySpace blog revealed that he was about to be involuntarily committed to Love In Action’s youth live-in program “Refuge” in 2005? He was committed to a two-month stay in the residential program, and his plight spawned international outrage along with unprecedented protests in Memphis. It also inspired filmmaker Morgan Fox to begin filming the documentary, “This Is What Love In Action Looks Like,” set for release in January 2008.

This evening at the Ex-Gay Survivor Conference in Irvine, California, we screened short excerpts of several documentary films including Fox’s unfinished work. Just before Fox’s extended trailer was shown, we learned that he had to make a very quick last-minute change to the ending today. And when we saw that ending, the crowd erupted in both cheers and tears as we saw that Love In Action Director John Smid confirmed that the “Refuge” youth program has been “dissolved.”

There were many cathartic moments at the Ex-Gay Survivor Conference, but for me at least, this surprise announcement was the most satisfying. I hope this will finally bring to an end any ideas that holding youth against their will for counseling they neither need nor desire is acceptable in a civilized country. This is a great step forward.

Peterson Toscano shares his personal thoughts here.



A Stitch in Haste
July 1st, 2007 | LINK

Ex-Gay “Zach Camp” Closed…

Best broken link I’ve seen in a while:

July 1st, 2007 | LINK

This is great news — especially if Smid confirmed it.

However, Love In Action now offers a “Family Freedom Four-Day Intensive” for $2,000 and a “Family Freedom Four-Day Intensive with child” for $3,000. Interestingly, LIA has not reduced its pricing for the significantly shorter programs. In 2006, LIA priced the “two-week commitment” for $2,000 and the “six-week commitment” for $4,500.

Maybe the homophobic parent market is not as lucrative as LIA had hoped.

July 2nd, 2007 | LINK

I was a client at Love In Action in 2005, during the time that Zach Stark and Lance Carrol were forced to be there. Both of those boys were intelligent,respectful and extremely gifted. I came to know them well and many of us cried when they left the program. It was my priviledge to know them and my heart went out to them because I knew they didn’t want to be there. I am relieved to know that L.I.A. has dissolved the “refuge” program. It is a sin to force anyone into any kind of religious “reparative” therapy, let alone impressionable teens who need understanding from their parents and not judgment. Both of those boys had a relationship with God by the way and knew Him very well; before arriving at L.I.A.’s doorstep. I just hope that this experience hasn’t given them the idea that God doesn’t love them and accept them.

steve j callahan
September 1st, 2007 | LINK

i am a bisexual man. because of the stigma associated with anything queer in the late 50s and 60s i suffered being in the closet. when i was 21 i accepted who i was and a peace came over me. i met a wonderful women in 1967 we married, had two great children. i told her the first week we knew eachother i was bi. a marrage straight or gay should be a comitted relationship, ours was, we loved eachother and we both remained faithful. she died in feb 2007 and nomater what happens she will always be the great love of my life. i know she would not want me to be alone and although i am not looking for a relationship at this time and i have no idea if i ever will and i have no idea if it will be with a man or a women if it does. i am ok with myself and am abit sorry for sen craig and hope he can come to terms with his sexuality. once you accept who you are life become quite simpler and happier. sc in florida

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