Love in Action files suit against Tennessee - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Love in Action files suit against Tennessee

Before today's deadline the state gave Love in Action organizers three options. Change their mission, get a state mental health license or shut its doors.The group answered back by filing a federal lawsuit against the state. Love in Action attorney Nate Kellum says government has no right to regulate Love in Action. That's why he filed a complaint against the state in federal court.

"Its repugnant for a faith based institution, a Christian ministry to come under the regulation of the state," said Kellum.

Without a mental health license, state law prohibits the group from assisting more than one person with a diagnosed mental illness.

"Although Love in Action in its religious ministry has absolutely nothing to do with mental health services whatsoever," Kellum said.

 "The lawsuit is unfortunate and unnecessary this issue has nothing to do with religious issues or faith based organizations or even the mission of Love in Action," said Tennessee State Spokesperson Lola Potter.

Kellum says the group is being targeted because of the controversy surrounding one of its programs called Refuge which teaches teens to overcome homosexual urges. It's the focus of a upcoming documentary by local filmmaker Morgan Fox .

"They are treating people calling homosexuality an addiction that's an insult," Fox said.

Fox cited reports that suggest that Refuge might do more harm than good.

"They feel that there has been suicidal ideation and a furthering of shame and self hatred created by reparative therapy programs," Fox continued.

And even though state isn't stopping the Refuge program, gay rights activists consider Friday's actions against love in action a victory in their favor.

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