Love in Action is a misnomer. It is an indoctrination camp. The rules are simple, straight ahead literally and figuratively. Lay and professional counselors go to work with a plan that includes isolation and repeated information on the evils of gay relationships and sex. Fears of eternal damnation and burning in hell must float through the minds of these teenagers.
The foundation of these camps operation are not that different from what the US is doing in Gitmo, the base where detainees are stripped of dignity, of contact with others, given a set of rigid rules to follow and obey and subject to constant surveillance and humiliations.
Of course there is a good reason the US does not have the detainees (prisoners can not be used to describe them as that would confer rights) in the United States. What they are doing in Gitmo would be against the law.
Yet in America today, youth are being scooped up, hauled unwillingly or under duress to Love In Action Refuge Camps. The issue came back into the media glare when a young blogger identified as Zach pleaded for help because he was being sent to a refuge camp unwillingly by his parents. A new group called Queer Action Coalition has been formed to address Zach's case and the situation for other youth across America.
The Tennessee Department of Health has sent a letter to Love in Action notifying the group that it is suspected of operating illegally, according to Andrea Turner, communications director for the department told the Washington Blade.
Turner added that if the program is strictly faith-based it would not require licensing by the state, but that according to the group's Web site, Love in Action has licensed counselors and provides services related to alcohol and drug addiction on site. "If this is the case, they are required to be licensed as a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Tennessee," Turner said.
" If employees there are providing counseling on homosexuality, it is possible that they are operating outside their area of expertise," Turner added.
So a faith based camp can operate without license in Tennessee but not if they provide counselling for drug alcohol abuse and maybe they can't provide counselling on homosexuality.
I can only hope that Tennessee inspectors finds Love in Action is unqualified to provide counselling on homosexuality. It won't end the fight there. Local elections are coming, any state official that does not sign onto change the law or to allow Christian run indoctrination camps will find him or herself on the sidelines as the new Christian Right floods the area with money, supporters just like that you are defeated. Amen.
One last question, Could this happen in Canada? The quick answer is likely no, but what about places like Alberta?
Hat tip to Toscano, a survivor of the Christian Right's war on Gays and Lesbians. You can find out more on his efforts here.
For more on gay rights, Christian Activism, equal, gay or same-sex marriage, Stephen Harper, Social Conservatives, James Dobson, Bishop Henry, use the technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts.
Tags: Gay, GLBT, The Bible, Queer, Christian, James Dobson, religion Canada, lgbt, Politics