Members of the community will hold a peaceful protest outside the Metro City Church Riverview Campus during the hours of what many are calling a conversion therapy workshop.
In a Facebook post that’s since been taken down, Metro City Church advertised an “Unashamed Identity Workshop” for girls (by birth) ages 12-16 who are struggling with the thoughts that they are “Trans – Bi – Gay or other.” The classes are scheduled to take place every Thursday at 6 p.m. from Feb. 8 – April 18.
The post sparked widespread backlash and a flurry of comments denouncing the church as anti-LGBTQ. The Metro-Detroit Political Action Network announced that it will be holding the protest at the church on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. — the night of the first class.
MDPAN’s Facebook page said, “We have had people sending multiple screenshots stating that this pastor did indeed call these sessions conversion therapy.”
Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation using psychological or spiritual interventions, and is opposed by several psychological experts.
The post, which has since been taken down, was flooded with disapproving comments.
MDPAN wrote: “This is a hate group. It’s archaic and oppressive so we will show them that love is love. The protest is to be peaceful, inspiring and encouraging to the children forced to have these workshops. Protestors are encouraged to share their stories to the crowd.”
Metro City Church’s head pastor Jeremy Schossau has been contacted by BTL for comment. He did tell Fox 2 Detroit that “There’s a lot of brokenness that leads to these major sexual decisions in life and we want to engage those. We do believe God has a direction for man, that he created men and women to love the opposite sex and to marry, and stay in a monogamous, lasting relationship. I understand the world has all kinds of other views, but that’s what we believe. We are sexually traditionally-minded Christians.”
The organizers ask that protesters park on side streets and be respectful in their actions. Protesters are encouraged to carry posters advertising “state resources, pride, and/or empowerment messages.”
The Metro City Church Riverdale Campus is located at 17760 Fort Street in Riverview.
Visit the group’s Facebook event page for more information at gaybe.am/qH.