Sarah Palin's church prays for gays; supports ex-gay movement

Mon. September 8, 2008 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Wasilla, AK - Republican vice-president Sarah Palin's home church, Wasilla Bible Church, is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.

‘You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,' according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has been a member for about six years. The insert was promoting the Focus on the Family "Love Won Out" conference in Anchorage, about 30 miles from Wasilla.

The conference is dedicated to training attendees in ‘ministering' to gays and lesbians in an effort to convert them into the ‘ex-gay' movement.

According to the Associated Press, Palin has not expressed her views on her church's "pray away the gay" movement. Larry Kroon, senior pastor at Palin's church, was not available to discuss the matter.

Both Senators Barack Obama and John McCain distanced themselves from their churches earlier this year after it became known that their pastors made sermons that didn't represent their own beliefs.

The nomination of Palin, a fundamentalist Christian, has energized evangelicals within the Republican Party. She is opposed to abortion rights, including in cases of incest and rape. Palin also believes gay partners should have none of the rights of marries couples. Her history of opposing equal rights for gays and lesbians has already come under heavy fire from gay rights organizations.

The "Love One Out" conference is presented by Focus on the Family, a national Conservative Christian organization headed by James Dobson. The conservative Christian leader was instrumental in the restoration process for Ted Haggard the former pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Haggard, who is married, was removed from church leadership in 2006 when it was revealed that he had paid for sex with a male prostitute and used methamphetamine when they were together. After three weeks of counseling, four ministers including Dobson declared Haggard "completely heterosexual."

Palins' former church Wasilla Assembly of God is affiliated with Third Wave of the Holy Spirit or the New Apostolic Reformation. Third Wave churches received national attention through the 2006 film Jesus Camp.

Log Cabin Republicans, the leading organization of gay and lesbian Republicans, announced its endorsement of the McCain - Palin ticket last week. (Full Story)