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Focus on the Family in row with Express-News over rejected ad
QSanAntonio, April 14, 2009

Focus on the Family held a demonstration disguised as a news conference at 2 p.m. today to confront the San Antonio Express-News over an ad the newspaper rejected for the Love Won Out Conference in San Antonio on April 18 at Westover Hills Assembly of God. The protest was held in front of the newspaper's building at 310 Avenue E.

Love Won Out teaches that people can overcome their same-sex attractions through prayer and determination.

A Focus on the Family press release sent to local media today at 10:45 a.m. details their complaint: "Representatives of the Express-News, including Publisher Thomas A. Stephenson, refused to explain the ad’s rejection when asked. When pressured by the community to publish the ad, they asked Love Won Out to completely change the ad, taking out all mention of homosexuality because it may be ‘offensive’ to the homosexual community."

The press release goes on: "The paper’s advertising guidelines list as reasons for rejecting ads that they are ‘not in the public interest, not in good taste (and) not in keeping with the Publisher’s standards,’ yet in the couple of weeks before the rejection, the newspaper ran ads for strip clubs and cosmetic vaginal reconstructive surgery, among others."

Commuity pressure, in the form of emails and phone calls to the Express-News, has been managed by Focus on the Family’s corporate public relations department in Colorado. They have augmented their own vast e-mail list with the ranks of KSLR AM Christian Radio listeners across South Texas. On April 13, the afternoon talk show host at KSLR read the ad to his listeners and made the plea for them to start bombarding the Express-News with protests.

According to an article at CitizenLink.com, a Focus on the Family web site, after the Express-News rejected the original ad it offered to work with Focus on the Family on crafting an ad with altered language. There apparently was a lot of push and pull, with Express-News finally offering them two ads for the price of one if they changed the original. Focus on the Family refused all of the Express-News' suggestions.

The rejected ad features a large color photograph of Jeff Johnston, gender issues analyst for Focus on the Family. Under the clean-cut young man’s photo is the headline: "I questioned homosexuality." The text of the ad goes on in Johnston’s own words describing how he’s changed his life.

Ex-gay seminar slated for San Antonio
QSanAntonio, January 23, 2009

Representatives of the Colorado-based, anti-gay Focus on the Family will come to San Antonio this spring to conduct the group’s much-decried Love Won Out Seminar. The seminar, which teaches that gay desires can be negated through prayer, is scheduled for April 18 at the Westover Hills Assembly of God.

According to Focus on the Family’s web site, the Love Won Out ministry "equips the church to respond in a Christ-like way to the issue of homosexuality. And to those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions, we offer the Gospel hope that these desires can be overcome."
At the one-day event, ministers, psychologists and counselors who say they have left homosexuality behind them make the case for "reparative therapy" — the hypothesis that homosexuality is not innate and can be "repaired."

"It’s been proven that ex-gay therapy does not work and in fact does more damage to an already-hurting soul," Rev. Mick Hinson, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church told QSanAntonio. "Churches must teach and live the inclusive love found in nature and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It saddens me greatly that our Christian brothers and sisters at Westover Hills Assembly of God have chosen to host a seminar that teaches hate disguised as love."

Gay and lesbian activists have denounced Love Won Out’s methods as an attempt to manipulate science in the name of religion. Love Won Out and other promoters of reparative therapy have come to be known popularly as the "ex-gay movement."

In recent years, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists have all declared that homosexuality is not a mental disorder that can or should be cured.

The Westover Hills Assembly of God, the church that is playing host to the Love Won Out seminar, is located at 9340 Westover Hills Blvd., San Antonio, Texas 78251. Its Lead Pastor is Jim Rion.