July 01, 2007

Love in Action Shuts Down Youth "Refuge"

Good news from Box Turtle Bulletin:

Remember Zach, the 16-year-old whose MySpace blog revealed that he was about to be involuntarily committed to Love In Action’s youth live-in program “Refuge” in 2005? He was committed to a two-month stay in the residential program, and his plight spawned international outrage along with unprecedented protests in Memphis. It also inspired filmmaker Morgan Fox to begin filming the documentary, “This Is What Love In Action Looks Like.”

This evening at the Ex-Gay Survivor Conference in Irvine, California, we screened short excerpts of several documentary films including Fox’s unfinished work. Just before Fox’s extended trailer was shown, we learned that he had to make a very quick last-minute change to the ending today. And when we saw that ending, the crowd erupted in both cheers and tears as we saw that Love In Action Director John Smid confirmed that the “Refuge” youth program has been “dissolved.”

There were many cathartic moments at the Ex-Gay Survivor Conference, but for me at least, this surprise announcement was the most satisfying. I hope this will finally bring to an end any ideas that holding youth against their will for counseling they neither need nor desire is acceptable in a civilized country. This is a great step forward.

I echo that sentiment. Any evidence of a retraction in the efforts of groups like this is a good thing for GLBT people and gives them a better chance to discover at their own pace how God made them and who they truly are.


  1. It's depressing that the so-called "Refuge" was allowed to exist at all, but this is a good sign for the future.

  2. Thank you for this information and the work you do.