Low Turnout at Love Won Out

Jim Burroway

February 26th, 2008

Anti-gay activism in America seems to be on the wane. Last September we reported on the very low turnout at the Family Impact Summit in Tampa, FL. They had hoped for about a thousand to show up, but on the first night, they made barely a hundred (organizers blamed “traffic”). On the final evening, they managed to draw about four hundred which featured Ken Blackwell and Tony Perkins, despite nearly continual live on-the-scene broadcasts from a local Christian radio station. Attendees grumbled at how difficult it was to drum up support for conferences like these.

Then there was the Watchmen On the Walls conference in Lynnwood, WA in October. Organizers there had hoped that 600 to 700 people would show up, but news reports estimated the attendance at a little over a hundred.

Now Focus On the Family’s CitizenLink reports that the Love Won Out conference in Memphis drew about six hundred. Previous draws in other cities approached eight hundred to over a thousand. I could get used to this trend.


February 26th, 2008

I wish I could feel good about 600. I just find such a large number to be depressing.

Who were these people? Were they gay people seeking “change” or were they mainly family members of gay people and anti-gay activists looking for a latest information in how to fight the “gay agenda”?

Emily K

February 27th, 2008

what was the turnout for the beyond ex-gay conference?

Regan DuCasse

February 28th, 2008

Definitely larger Emily K. But I think the BEXG conference was over more days. I was only there for one day. But it was the first ever conference, so considering that, I think they did well.
LWO and other organizations supported by the anti gay have been doing their work a lot longer, get far more funding and have more media outlets in which to operate. I think it’s important to look at the demographic that would attend a LWO conference. Older…perhaps more white people than any other ethnicity. I doubt the LWO message would be attractive to anyone but adults with gay children or family members, let alone teens that are gay themselves. Perhaps with the advancement of GSA’s and other support for gay teens, LWO can’t get their attention.
Usually the only other teens that participate are STRAIGHT teens recruited to attract other kids.

And frankly, the LWO message isn’t saying what it means. And you can’t lie to kids. You really can’t.
They WILL call the adults on it eventually. This is why the Exodus or LWO outreach is so intensified while it’s aimed at youth.
Thing is, disillusionment will come earlier and the TRUTH will eventually reveal itself. That too, we can hope will come sooner.
If the turnout was lower than expected, it may or may not be a good sign. ANY turn out might not be a good sign.
That many people can still do a lot of damage to several gay teens. And that is several too many.

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