Lesser Known Baldwin Brother to Headline Ex-Gay Conference
Right Wing Watch reports that actor Stephen Baldwin, brother of actor and liberal activist Alec Baldwin, will be a featured speaker at an ex-gay conference later this month. The three day event, called "Rising from the Ashes," is sponsored by ex-gay ministry Hope for Wholeness Network and will take place at the First Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina.
The name of the conference presumably refers to the birth of the newly formed Hope for Wholeness Network after the closure of ex-gay ministry network Exodus International in June. Of the three day event, which Hope for Wholeness hopes to be a yearly event, Executive Director McKrae Game said:
"Much has happened; with the Defense of Marriage Act being overturned, right at the same time as our beloved Exodus International closed its doors after 38 years of ministry; we felt strongly that we needed to have this event to get together, rally around our shared vision, and encourage each other on our mission.
It was right after our board voted unanimously to create the Hope for Wholeness Network that I learned of Exodus’ closing. I was saddened, but realized that this was a new day for us all. The Hope for Wholeness Network was birthed by Truth Ministry, with our desire to bring ministry leaders from around the country together, in unity with one singular message, regardless of ministry, of "Freedom from Homosexuality through Jesus Christ."
According to the Hope for Wholeness Network website, the "Rising from the Ashes" ex-gay conference weekend will feature an array of workshops, including one given by Hope for Wholeness Executive Director McKrae Game titled, "Marketing in Ministry/Technology In Ministry," which explores the role marketing and technology plays in ex-gay ministries. For those unable to attend the conference, Hope for Wholeness offers a variety of freedom from homosexuality resources including workbooks and DVD designed to "de-gay" people. These products range in price from $40 to $700.
In a YouTube video advertising the event, Game says, "Stephen Baldwin is going to have an amazing message."
Baldwin, who has a long history of support for the ex-gay movement also has a long history of anti-gay statements. As reported by LGBTQ Nation, in his 2006 autobiography, Baldwin detailed highlights from his personal life, including his days of drug abuse and ultimately becoming a born-again Christian following the 9/11 attacks.
In a 2010 interview with Baldwin published in The Guardian, author Miranda Sawyer wrote:
"For the next 20 minutes, we have an intense discussion - argument, really - during which Stephen reveals that he’s all for gay men who, through their faith, reject their homosexuality and get married: "To turn away from that lifestyle is astonishing." Yes, Stephen, it is. And he’s definitely not for gay marriage.
What about civil partnerships, I ask wearily.
"I believe that the family unit has fundamentally been the most positive thing for society and I don’t believe that any minority has the right to create changes that impact on the majority. That’s really the only issue for me."
In 2010, Baldwin appeared on the U.K. version of the TC reality series "Celebrity Big Brother" where her reportedly read passages from the Bible to fellow housemates. He was eventually kicked out of the house.
Baldwin’s latest film "I’m In Love With A Church Girl" opens in theaters across the country today.