Protesters Welcome

Focus on the Family's Love Won Out conference has generated controversy just about everywhere it's gone over the last nine years. In most of the 43 cities we've visited, we've met some sort of picket or protest. And you know what? That's fine with us.

We consider it a great privilege to live in a country that guarantees its citizens the right to speak out on issues they care about -- even controversial ones. And the issue at the heart of Love Won Out -- is homosexuality immutable? -- is definitely controversial. That's why protesters will be outside Trinity Church in Omaha, Neb., on April 14. They think we're wrong to say that unwanted same-sex attractions can be overcome -- and it's their right to say so.

Just as it's our right to say -- and, more important -- to demonstrate otherwise.

Are we going to Omaha to "cure" gays and lesbians -- to make them straight? Absolutely not. The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality; it is holiness. That’s the goal we urge all our attendees to strive for: whether it’s a parent who wants to learn how to better love his or her gay son or daughter without compromising his or her faith, people who want to better understand the many factors that can lead to someone adopting a homosexual identity, or those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions.

Those who have protested us in the past have accused us of "hatred" and "bigotry" -- and we expect to hear those words again in a few weeks. But we will do more than listen as others try to define us; we will define ourselves by explaining, and illustrating, that our conference is about truth, love and hope. In every city we’ve ever gone to, we’ve found men and women who are dissatisfied living homosexually. What we offer them is the reality that change is possible. The thousands of people worldwide who have left homosexuality are proof of that.

We do share one important understanding with those who have picketed us through the years: Jesus died every bit as much for those who protest our conference as for those who speak at it. You have never heard, and will never hear, any Love Won Out speaker say God doesn’t love gays and lesbians. What you will hear is that He designed human sexuality to be enjoyed solely within the bounds of one-man, one-woman marriage. Any sexual relationship outside of that design – heterosexual or homosexual – falls short of His standard.

Saying so is free speech, yes; but it's also true speech.

More in Healthcare

New vaccine treats nine strains of sexually transmitted HPV

Read more »