Activists with Philadelphia social justice nonprofit the Peace Advocacy Network will on May 23 protest a Lower Merion Catholic sports camp they're claiming is actually a "conversion therapy" course designed to "cure" gay individuals of their homosexuality.
The 14th annual Sports Camp is being held at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary from May 23 through the 26by conservative Catholic group Courage, which Peace Advocates claim holds meetings around the world "in an attempt to coerce gay individuals into living a completely chaste life."
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The three-day Sports Camp, which costs $395 to attend, claims to help gay men repair their "sports wound" and become "manlier" – in so many words, performing "conversion therapy" to "reform" their homosexuality.
Peace Advocacy Network activists have also raised concerns about two West ConshohockenInstitute for Marital Healing therapists they claim are "champions of the 'ex-gay' movement."
A series of ethics complaints were last year filed against the therapists with the state licensing board and the American Psychological Association in connection to claims they were conducting "conversion therapy."
"Beyond the absurdity of the Sports Camp, PAN also has concerns about the connection between Courage and two West Conshohocken therapists they believe are conducting 'conversion therapy' and are in touch with an individual who alleges he was pushed to join Courage by one of the therapists after revealing his sexuality," the group stated in a release.
They also said their members expect a bill banning the practice of "conversion therapy" by licensed practitioners to be introduced in the state legislature this year.
"PAN thinks these types of legislation are good step in the right directionbut are concerned that religious organizations will still remain exempt from the practice, which has been debunked by mainstream psychological and medical authorities," a release stated.
Courage hands out literature such as a pamphlet titled "The Health Risks of Gay Sex," which warns homosexuality may lead to"fatal injuries due to various forms of sadism."
The organizationon its websitelinks to a paper that refers to homosexuality as a treatable disorder called "Same Sex Attraction" and states children "at risk" of developing "SSA" can be identified and treated at an early age.
Peace Advocacy Network activists will be outside Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary at the corner of City and Wynnewood avenues on May 23 from 4-6 p.m. to raise awareness about Courage and the Sports Camp.