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WASHINGTON — Men and women who once identified as LGBT shared their personal stories of transformation with lawmakers Wednesday after the House passed a bill earlier this year that would bar citizens from accessing counseling and therapies for unwanted same-sex attraction.
T-shirts - Word - CHANGED - Persons - Church
Dressed in black T-shirts emblazoned with the word "CHANGED," 16 formerly LGBT-identified persons from Church United and the CHANGED movement spoke at a joint news conference outside the U.S. capitol where they shared their stories with members of Congress and their staff, and urged senators not to support the so-called Equality Act if it's ever brought to the floor for a vote.
"There are bills behind us that are going to take away our rights," said Jim Domen from Church United.
Domen - Attraction - Grade - Gay - Man
Domen said he has dealt with same-sex attraction since the seventh grade and even identified as a gay man for five years, but today he's married to a woman and has three children. He described his years in his former life as a search for love where he was so desperate that he did not care if his sexual partners had hepatitis or were HIV-positive.
"My two daughters and son don't think I'm a fraud, they know that I'm real," he said. "We exist. We are people who have changed."
Others - Importance - Right - Options - Accordance
He and others stressed the importance that they should have the right to pursue counseling options in accordance with their faith, therapies that would be restricted under H.R. 5, the Equality Act — an updated version of the 1964 landmark civil rights legislation considered by many to be Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy — which passed the House of Representatives earlier this year. The bill is being pushed by LGBT activist organizations.
Domen emphasized: "I want to very clear about something, all of us here, we...
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