BERMUDA — An “ex-gay” group that hosted an event in Bermuda aimed at “saving” homosexuals has been forced to cancel an upcoming convention in London after a public outcry, the Royal Gazette, a Bermuda daily newspaper, reports.
The Coming Out Ministries, hosted by self-proclaimed “ex-gays” who found “redemption, victory, healing and freedom from homosexuality,” was due to host its weeklong Holy Sexuality Conference at the Adventist Centre in Watford, London but the church cancelled after a petition on change.org attracted 33,000 signatures calling for the event hosts’ visas to be declined, the Gazette reports.
Coming Out Ministries endorses “gay cure” therapy, which the World Health Organization has branded damaging to a person’s physical and mental well-being.
A spokesperson from the Adventists Centre said that the church now realized the event, planned for April 21-25, “had the potential to divide,” the Gazette article notes.
He added: “Seventh-day Adventists are a people of peace who believe in hope and dialogue. However, it appeared that rather than drawing people together, the conference had the potential to divide. The Adventist Church recognizes that the individuals invited to speak at the Holy Sexuality Conference have compelling life stories to share but equally appreciate that there are those who take a different point of view, the article said.
Coming Out Ministries hosted a weeklong event in Bermuda in January at the invitation of the Southampton Seventh-day Adventist Church. There was some opposition locally to the event being held here by LGBT locals.
Equal rights organization the Rainbow Alliance said at the time that such groups promoted “hurtful, exploitative, alienating and other ideas about the LGBTQ community that are harmful for impressionable children, teenagers and young adults who are indoctrined from a young age to believe that LGBTQ identities are dangerous,” the Gazette article said.