Inside "Love in Action" - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Inside "Love in Action"

Brandon Tidwell lives his life as an openly gay man but years ago he wasn't as proud so he turned to Love In Action in hopes it would change his life...and it did, "They're representing the radical extreme element of evangelical faith." Tidwell says he soon realized the Love in Action program wasn't working for him, "There were rules, intimidation techniques, manipulation and poor counseling or inappropriate counseling techniques used to continue to shame and guilt and manipulate people." Program director John Smid disagrees, "People come out of being here stronger, better, more authentic, more real, more honest and more potentially able to lead a positive life than when they came." Smid says his program which is based in Memphis and currently has 19 members doesn't dispute some people are born gay instead it teaches not to act on those feelings, "It is a form of re-thinking, it is a form of therapeutic principals to help us think differently so that we respond differently with the choices we have." Tidwell, "What it leads to is self hatred and denial." Love in Action has graduates who say the program benefited them and changed the way they feel...Tidwell isn't one of them, "I didn't shift my theology so I could be gay. being gay helped me to look at my theology though a whole new lense and see Christ through an embracing point of view rather than one through condemnation." John Smid said he wants people to know the program is voluntary. The teens that take part are often sent by their parents but he says they can leave on their own and if the resist the program they are asked to leave.
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