'Coming Out' Ministries released a video on YouTube today called "Aren't we free to choose?" in answer to their Holy Sexuality Conference being canceled in London, which was scheduled to occur next week. The local LGBT community collected over 40,000 signatures, calling for the denial of visas for the speakers. South England Adventist Conference canceled the meetings.
“Seventh-day Adventists are a people of peace who believe in hope and dialogue," said a statement released by the England Conference and Union leaders. "However, it appeared that rather than drawing people together, the conference had the potential to divide. The Adventist Church recognizes that the individuals invited to speak at the Holy Sexuality Conference have compelling life stories to share but equally appreciate that there are those who take a different point of view."
Wayne Blakely of 'Coming Out' Ministries had the following to say about the incident on his Facebook page:
...We are not discouraged, but disappointed in the false reporting. 'Coming Out' Ministries has never promoted "conversion" or "reparative therapy." In fact, we don't tell people what to do. We simply share what God has accomplished in our own lives by focusing on Him. I found freedom from that which His Word tells me does not honor Him.
The tolerant are becoming intolerant. There used to be a freedom extended to anyone to express themselves. I share my testimony where I'm invited. And those invited to these seminars are invited to make their own observations and decisions. You don't have to agree with me. However, I should still be extended the freedoms which are extended to those whom I might disagree. God's pure love changes people's lives. I have never told someone that change meant to change from gay to straight. What Jesus is asking of me is to surrender my ways to His, to fall in love with Him and let Him have control in my life. His will will always agree with His Word.
Jesus is invitational, not forceful. All of us have been given the power of choice. We are all invited to give our temptations over to Him. Only love for Him would bring about such a gesture. I love gays and can relate to their journey. I lived in this culture for nearly forty years. It is my desire to help break down the stigma surrounding homosexuality and the isolation and sin hierarchy it has possessed for so many decades. We are all level at the foot of the cross. Jesus is the Redeemer for all of us. We are all invited to lay our burdens down...
I challenge listeners of any public message, to return to God's Word and see if what I am saying is in agreement with God's Holy Word. Only you can decide if you believe in the power of Jesus to mold our characters like His ....
You can read Blakely's whole statement here.