'Love Won Out' conference coming to Southern California


IRVINE, Calif. — "Love Won Out," a daylong conference by Focus on the Family that explores the possibility of overcoming same-sex attractions, will be held Oct. 13 at Mariner's Church.

The popular conferences have been held across the country in an effort to counter common arguments that homosexuality cannot be changed.

"We want people to know that individuals don't have to be gay and that a homosexual identity is something that can be overcome," conference literature reads. "That's why we've developed a one-day conference for those seeking answers on this often confusing and divisive issue. Whether you have a gay friend or family member, are an educator, pastor or concerned citizen—or even self-identify as gay—Love Won Out will inform, inspire and offer you hope."

The conference will feature several noted national speakers, including Dr. Nancy Heche, who discovered 20-plus years into her marriage that her husband was living a parallel life as a gay man. She discovered the truth shortly before he died of AIDS. Heche is also the mother of actress Anne Heche, who for a time lived as a lesbian.

Heche, a resident of Chicago, holds a doctoral degree in pastoral counseling and has a private practice in psychotherapy specializing in communication and relationship issues with families, couples and singles. She taps into her own spiritual struggle to present a compassionate and practical approach to the issue of homosexuality.

Another featured speaker is Orange County resident Joe Dallas, program director of Genesis Counseling in Tustin. Dallas leads a monthly five-day men's retreat on sexual purity titled, Every Mans' Battle. An author, Dallas recently released "When Homosexuality Hits Home."

"This is one of the toughest subjects the church is addressing today and more than ever, we need education that is biblically based and compassionate," Dallas said by phone. "The Love Won Out conference provides that and I can think of few issues that are leaving believers more concerned and, at times, ill-equipped to address."

Other speakers include Dick M. Carpenter II, Ph.D, a veteran and award-winning teacher, principal, public policy analyst and college professor, who writes and speaks frequently on legislative and cultural issues in both popular media outlets and in academic venues; Melissa Fryrear, M.Div., who serves as the director of Gender Issues for Focus on the Family's government and public policy division; Mike Haley, who left the homosexual lifestyle and now serves as manager of community education/mobilization for Focus on the Family's Community Impact Outreach division; Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D.,  president and principal research investigator for the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and the clinical director of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino: Alan Chambers, one of the nation's leading speakers on gender issues and president of Exodus International, the largest evangelical organization dealing with this topic and Dr. Bill Maier, Focus on the Family's vice president and psychologist in residence.

In addition to encouraging those impacted by same-sex attractions, the conference will also address cultural misinformation and equipping attendees to defend their biblical beliefs with grace and understanding.

To register, call toll free at 1-800-232-6459.