Colorado Springs, Colo – Their message is simple: men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions can experience a real change in identity, behavior and attractions.
Speakers for Focus on the Family's Love Won Out conference, which addresses homosexuality from a biblical perspective, also provide evidence for their claims – their personal stories. They share the reasons that led them to walk down what was oftentimes a challenging road.
"When I realized that my life wasn't reflecting God's perfect design for sexuality, I made the decision to work towards change through Bible study, counseling, and peer support," says Melissa Fryrear, LWO host and speaker. "While there were painful moments in the process, I now have a peace and joy that has made it all worthwhile."
However, there are many people – like those belonging to the various local groups planning to protest Saturday's event – who doubt her story, and call her views hateful. Fryrear, however, isn't fazed.
"No one can take away what I know to be true. I'm happy to explain my beliefs to those who doubt it's possible and share Scripture, scientific evidence and my own story," she says. "These are complex issues, so I take care to discuss them with understanding and love."
Not everyone is open to having the conversation, however. Protestors have tried to drown out the LWO message at previous events by attempting to prevent attendee entrance or disrupting seminars.
Fryrear hopes Birmingham protestors will respect her right to tell her story, though. "Our message is for those who want to listen, and true tolerance would ensure we get a chance to speak."
Love Won Out, now in its 11th year, has traveled worldwide. The Birmingham conference marks its 56thevent. It will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Metro Church, located at 2800 Metropolitan Way.