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'Gay Therapy' Sports Camp in Wynnewood Draws Criticism

The camp says it uses team sports to help gay men repress sexual urges. Senator Daylin Leach thinks it's a terrible idea.

State Senator Daylin Leach is speaking out against a Wynnewood-based camp for men that, according to Philly.com, uses team sports to help gay men defuse their sexual urges.

Held at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary this weekend, "Sports Camp" is run by a Catholic organization called Courage. The camp has five goals for its attendees, according to Philly.com, one of which is to encourage men "to live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality." It does this with daily prayer, mass, and regular games of softball, football, basketball, and soccer.

The camp, not surprisingly, has drawn criticism from some quarters. State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), in a statement released through his office, said that the camp stigmatizes homosexuality and suggested that programs like Courage only make life more difficult for young people who are gay:

It’s long been known that sexual preference has a genetic link and is not, in fact, attributed to any sort of childhood rejection or trauma, as advocates for this camp have suggested. 

In fact, a recent study has discovered that epi-marks – genetic markers that control gene expression – play a large role in determining if one is born homosexual or heterosexual. According to the researchers who conducted the study, 'Different epi-marks protect different sex-specific traits from being masculinized or feminized – some affect the genitals, others sexual identity, and yet others affect sexual partner preference.’

To encourage our youth to deny themselves of who they are and to tell them that their sexual preference and gender identification are wrong is unconscionable. Instead of telling kids that they need to change the very fiber of their beings, we should encourage them to be confident and self-assured. It is hard enough to be a teenager, and we should not make that transitional time of self-discovery any more difficult. 

By allowing them to embrace who they are, teenagers have a fighting chance at becoming well-adjusted adults. It is not our place as a society to tell anyone that being gay is a problem that should be ‘cured’ or ‘fixed’. That type of bigoted mentality will only breed cruelty and discrimination for years to come.

Leach isn't the first political leader to speak out against programs like Courage. In August of 2012, the California State Assembly passed a bill banning gay conversion therapy for children and teenagers (though a federal court subsequently blocked the law) and New Jersey is considering similar legislation.

A PDF of the camp's flyer is attached to this article.

Emm May 25, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Parents do a ton of things to make their kids mental cases: divorce, ignore them, spend too much time at the office, berate kids for their weight, and even marry the same sex (traumatic? for many, yes... but no one speaks up for those children). Where is the senator who is concerned for the adults who are traumatized from growing up in a same sex household? Who speaks for them? They deserve a voice, too.
Emm May 25, 2013 at 02:08 PM
This title is unfair. I don't see where this program is trying to "convert" homosexuals from who they are. It seems this program tries to help them repress their sexual urges. Shame on Patch.com for such bigotry against the church.
Michael N Day May 25, 2013 at 02:20 PM
For the record. Jesus never made any direct references to homsexuality that were recorded. But he did make this statement, "Therefore a man shall leave his mother and father and take unto himself a wife and the two shall become one flesh". If you need a more explicit condemnation of the behaviour then open your Bible to St Paul's letter to the Romans. If his words do not convince you then nothing will. It is Christ -like to admonish the sinner. That is one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy.
fed up May 25, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Hey Michael N Day: "Therefore a man shall leave his mother and father and take unto himself a wife and the two shall become one flesh". Contains NO explicit condemnation of homosexuality. Also, everything Jesus said, he also practiced; therefore, there are 2 options... He married Mary Magdaline or he is gay.
Michael N Day May 25, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Hey anonymous! Guess you don't want to touch St Paul huh? I'm not feeling the love.
fed up May 25, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Nice homosexual reference. Careful. You'll make the other bigots angry
Michael N Day May 25, 2013 at 03:22 PM
It all comes from the heart. The goal here is to relieve peoples suffering. A drowning man will pull you down.
fed up May 25, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Totally agree!! Just like Jesus said and lived... Love everyone! NO exclusions or exceptions
Jodi May 25, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Last time I checked a priest convicted of child pornography resided at the monastery and is not legally allowed to be near children. PARENTS! Love your kids for who they are not what you had in mind! REAL PARENTS give their children the best chance for happiness, Confidence and Pride in themselves. They do NOT put them in hands of known predators.
Wallst May 25, 2013 at 04:41 PM
"Gay Therapy" is a hoax. You can not turn someone straight that is gay and you can not turn someone who is straight, gay. Anyone who says they were "cured" from this form of therapy, is living in denial. Gay is NOT a "choice".
Maryalice Brennan May 25, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Homosexually is not the same as Pedophilia. Many Pedophiles are heterosexual. But I do agree that the Catholic church should be spending their time protecting our children from pedophiles rather then creating really screwed up people because they are telling them they are not equal to heterosexuals. Telling them they are not worthy of love and respect. Telling them they are less then others.
Maryalice Brennan May 25, 2013 at 08:27 PM
As someone who works in Behavioral Health I can tell you that Homosexuality is NOT a mental illness. Domestic violence and disease is no higher then in any other category of humans. Suicide is higher among homosexual teens because they are being ostracized, being made to feel inadequate, and being made to feel blighted by the likes of people who think as you do. You cannot prevent, dissuade, cure, or convert homosexuality any more then you can heterosexuality. And I have no concept how homosexuality undermines the stability of society? Considering it an immoral act is subjective and uninformed.
Maryalice Brennan May 25, 2013 at 09:21 PM
http://www.doh.state.fl.us/disease_ctrl/aids/Basic_HIV_AIDS_info.pdf The fastest growing group of new HIV/AIDS cases ( In the U,S.) is among African American and Hispanic women. Worldwide, more than 90% of all adolescent and adult HIV infections have resulted from heterosexual intercourse http://www.theaidsinstitute.org/sites/default/files/attachments/NHAAAD%20Fact%20Sheet%202012%20FINAL.pdf
Amend May 26, 2013 at 02:21 AM
So much hate in the name of Jesus. Sad.
R gee May 26, 2013 at 02:51 AM
If that were the case then there would be no down syndrome they usually don't reproduce.
Roger Ricker May 26, 2013 at 04:28 AM
Ha ha. This is TOO funny. Wouldn't being with other guys who are in an athletic situation create MORE homosexual feelings than cause those feelings to cease? Also, the Catholic Church continues to put up a front about 'curing' gays and stating that homosexuality is wrong...but NEVER comes out and says "Let's cure pedophilia" or "Molesting boys is wrong." Where is THAT camp? This entire camp is ridiculous. You can't cure homosexuality just like you can't cure heterosexuality or being right-handed or left-handed. It's who people are. The Catholic Church is a parody of itself. This camp is a sin in and of itself and is only fostering hatred and bigotry on several levels. It is also assuming that all men are into sports. Also, let me just say that many people are all about this condemnation of homosexuality in the Bible. Do they also realize the Bible condemns tattoos or any type of body art? Yet there are tattoo parlors all over the place and millions of "Christians" who have many tattoos. (Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28) So who has a better chance of gaining salvation and getting to Heaven...a gay person with no tattoos or a heterosexual with several tattoos?
Brian Thompson May 26, 2013 at 11:17 AM
There is a huge difference between tryin to "cure" someone of being gay and trying to teach someone how to live a healthy and productive celibate life (I am not necessarily endorsing either). My understanding is this camp is teaching homosexuals how to be celibate; this has to do with do or not doing something. They are not trying to change who people are. In other words, they are not trying to make them heterosexual. If you believe that homosexuality is healthy, then obviously what the camp is trying to do will be unsavory to you. The debate about the efficacy of so called curative therapies is irrelevant to thi discussion.
bill craig May 26, 2013 at 05:53 PM
I need a better job..I'm paying 3.59 a gallon for gas..my health ins is always going up..tax tax tax me to death..philly schools r broke..QUIT WORRYING ABOUT GAY CAMP AND PANDERING TO MAINLINE LIBERAL DINGBAT HOUSEWIVES who's HUSBANDS MAKE UPPER SIX FIGURES A YEAR..
bill May 26, 2013 at 07:46 PM
He'd rather thump the bible and ignore science....Mikey, they haven't found the asshole gene, but, as you show, it's a real thing..
Susan Kanoff May 27, 2013 at 01:14 AM
That was quite an ignorant statement to make regarding the opinions offered here. If you don't think the topic is of interest, why are you involved in the discussion at all? You should also be aware that the "mainline liberal dingbat housewives" you are ranting about are likely teachers, professors, lawyers, clergy, physicians, dentists or other professionals. Have many other misconceptions about mainline liberals?
Mark Price May 28, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Held at St. Charles Seminary? You have got to be kidding. Does anyone else see the sick irony there?
Nelson May 28, 2013 at 01:50 AM
How do we decide that Adultery is a "sin", and Homosexuality is a sexual orientation. The same God that calls Adultery a sin calls Homosexuality a sin. And make no mistake about it, it is sin, therefore it is wrong and it is deviant behavior. I wonder what kind or cowardice causes so many who know this to be quiet, While supporters are so loud.
Jenny May 28, 2013 at 03:02 AM
This is ridiculous, a catholic church supporting gay rights? @ Susan Kanoff, I totally concur. The rules of Catholicism are that only a man & a woman are allowed to be called a couple family, married, etc. Any gays are sinners bc they aren't respecting Gods wishes for us to be a nan & woman
Jenny May 28, 2013 at 03:15 AM
This is ridiculous, a catholic church supporting gay rights? @ Susan Kanoff, I totally concur. The rules of Catholicism are that only a man & a woman are allowed to be called a couple family, married, etc. Any gays are sinners bc they aren't respecting Gods wishes for us to be a man & woman & reproduce. I'm not discriminatife of "GAYS" simply bc I'm not God & don't have the right to impose judgement. I also am not the ONLY ONE who is disgusted by gays due to display of public affection. Keep that behind doors, some of our stomachs aren't able to handle that idea.. Totally disgusting a church of such rank & humility would promote the "Gays". Once again, don't hate, my apologies. This just how I feel about the hippocracy of a Catholic church to promote "Gay's"
Bill May 28, 2013 at 03:22 AM
I wouldn't want to comment without researching the "Courage" organization first. Why? Who would want to sound ignorant, angry, and try to pass an opinion (everyone has one) as fact. So, after researching "Courage" it appears they are helping those Catholics that desire help and are having great success. Testimonies speak for themselves. http://couragerc.net/Member_Testimonies.html The site is loaded with links to articles as well. Even frank round table discussions with gay members that discuss a wide range topics. Some even brought up on the Patch. http://thecatholicspirit.com/special-sections/marriage/living-with-same-sex-attraction/ Now my opinion. It appears they are a support group, that seeks truth (science & faith) and understanding (faith and Love). Helping those that either love their faith or are seeking a change. Another opinion: The "Sports Camp" would appear to be secondary and is for fun as oppose to the real mental and spiritual growth sought in the other exercises. Peace
Joe May 28, 2013 at 04:12 AM
You definantly read the Bible and need it. Heterosexual men have our jails filled to capacity. Btw the Pedophiles who are strait and the rapist who are strait. When did you ever read that a GAY DUDE robbed,molested,abused,murdered,raped,armrobbed,must I go on. YOUR BLIND!!!! YOUR BLIND!!!! Must be a REDNECK!!! Read that Bible dude,you need it..
George MacDonald May 28, 2013 at 01:39 PM
I would like to thank Patch for including a link to the website for the group COURAGE. I was never aware of this group before. Shame on Patch for presenting such a one sided approach to the issue at hand. They did not include any statements from any representatives of COURAGE thus not allowing them to present their views. Patch also failed to mention that COURAGE had been warmly endorsed by Blessed Pope John Paul II. It appears that Patch is pushing it's own agenda here. Nevertheless it is wonderful to know that this organisation exists and they are doing such Godly work. I'm putting my money where my mouth is and I am making a substantial donation to COURAGE so they may continue their work of saving souls.
MJP May 28, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Mr Day, you are presenting peoples opinion as some sort of fact, still you present zero scientific evidence.
George MacDonald May 28, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Personally I'm getting tired of hearing this argument. People have got to stop following junk science and science fiction. 1 in 3 men carry the "warrior gene" that makes them predisposed to violence and aggression genetically. By that chain of logic it would suggest that violent behavior be tolerated by society because there is a gene that causes it. We both know that logic is nonsense. Here are some citations that may help. Everyone wants these individuals treated with compassion. http://sourcefednews.com/theres-no-gay-gene-says-scientists/ https://instinctmagazine.com/blogs/blog/scientists-claim-there-is-no-gay-gene-homosexuality-is-caused-by-factors-in-gestation?directory=100011 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation http://www.wnd.com/2009/05/97940/
Maryalice Brennan May 28, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Aahhhhh Yup.

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