Tennessee “Love in Action” camp ordered closed

LiaIf you’ll remember, this ex-gay Christian facility was where MySpace Blogger Zach was sent by his parents to “cure” him of his homosexuality. The state Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities has given the camp until September 23 to either obtain a valid license for operation or cease operations altogether.

The disturbing flipside to this news is that according to a letter from the Department of Mental Health, the facility “was providing housing, meals and personal care for mentally ill patients without a license.” Now the question I want to ask is, does the state of Tennessee view homosexuality as a mental illness, as the wording of this letter would suggest? If so, the state of Tennessee is certainly as misled as the ex-gay Christians running this self-hate facility.

(via wayne besen and raw story)

Zach is Back [tr]
Zach’s Release from Love in Action Imminent [tr]
Zach’s Father Speaks Out [tr]
“Love in Action” [tr]


  1. David says

    I’d venture to guess that when this facility was being investigated by the various social service agencies of the State of Tennessee, that the facility managers left the impression with the State agencies that the facility was “helping” people with mental health issues. Someone should do a public information request of all public records (correspondence, emails, notes, etc.) regarding the facility. I bet it would be quite interesting reading. And I hope this “self-hate” facility does get a license to deal with just the mentally ill. That way it would be easier to sue them if the facility ever started taking non-mentally ill patients. And no, your sexual orientation, whatever it might be, is not a mental illness.

  2. says

    I would assume that the state is not referring to homosexuality as a mental illness in this memo; rather, I think that the state is probably speaking about mental illness which often co-occurs in youths with any kind of sexual identity/orientation concern–like depression or anxiety disorders.

    Homosexuality is not a mental illness, but it is also does not have any protected status–in other words, the facility can continue to claim to turn gay kids straight, provided that they follow the appropriate licensing requirements when it comes to actual mental illness.

  3. Wayne says

    Andy –

    You just need to get fucked by a conservative Republican! Chill out and embrance true diversity of thought and opinion.

  4. Wes says


    Andy and the rest of the country have been getting fucked by conservative Republicans for almost 5 years now. And it still isn’t any fun.

    Seems to me, the state used Mental Illness laws based on what the camp said they were providing, not based on who they were providing it to. It was legal tactics to close the place. Can anyone confirm if I am remembering this correctly?

  5. david says

    go to the link from within the wayne beson link and you’ll see it reads: “Under state regulations, facilities that dispense medication to patients require a license.”

  6. rob adams says

    Why are you assuming Tenn’s Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities is equating homosexuality with “mental illness” ? That’s an uninformed assumption.

    Like any state dept of mental health, it *solely* relies on the DSM-IV (soon to be DSM-V) for a definition of a psych illness; Homosexuality is not one of those, in either the present or future edition.

    For the TENN Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities to say what they said, there must be patients at that facility with presently diagnosed DSM-IV pathologies — and homosexual urges alone would not be one of those.

    It’s a far safer assumption that TENN’s Meantal Health Dept discovered there are people at the facility presently being treated for mental illness that has been otherwise properly medically diagnosed (e.g., within the DSM-IV).

    Scary anti-gay biggots are not hiding behind every tree, or comment.