Ally Week, the second annual campaign against anti-LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) acts launched Sunday, and along with it the Christian counterpart "Allies, Too."
"Allies, Too," a movement started by a ministry of ex-gay Christian students, is drawing support nationwide in an effort to promote truth, "authentic tolerance," and safer schools without the bullying and harassment that many students, including LGBTs, face. The campaign goes hand-in-hand with Ally Week in its objective, but has a Christian backing.
Exodus Youth, a division of the ex-gay group Exodus International, supports the effort launched by LGBT students to help create safer schools but is doing it without compromising their beliefs and Christian faith. Thousands of students, both nonreligious and religious, will be pledging their support for the campaign this week until Oct. 21.
"We hear from hundreds of students grappling with their sexuality who have been further isolated because of the hurtful words of their peers," said Scott Davis, director of Exodus Youth, in a released statement. "We want schools to be a safe place and to encourage caring individuals to be a safe place for these young people in churches and in other youth forums across America."
"Allies, Too" follows days after the 11th annual National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day also a counterpart to National Coming Out Day.
Commemorating the 500,000 people who marched in Washington, D.C. for gay and lesbian rights on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day saw communities across the nation celebrate and openly talk about their lives as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people.
As thousands were raising awareness of the LGBT community, ex-gays were celebrating a growing movement of thousands of men and women who have already come out of homosexual lives.
"As one of thousands who have experienced change, I know that there is life beyond homosexuality," said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, in a released statement. "A way out of the isolation and emptiness that many experience in gay life is available to anyone."
Chambers, who recently authored the book God's Grace and the Homosexual Next Door, noted the growth of the ex-gay movement as it reaches more diverse audiences.
"The growth within our network as well as the increase in calls from those desiring our help demonstrate that many want more than the same tired 'born-gay' mantra our culture has fed them," he said. "Today, we celebrate the reality of changed lives and look toward more opportunities to share this truth."
Chambers himself is a former homosexual who began identifying with gay feelings at around age nine. He is now married to his wife and has two children and said that he would never go back to his former homosexual life in an interview on National Public Radio last week.
Exodus International is the largest ex-gay group with 130 ministries in the United States and Canada. The non-profit provides support for individuals who want to recover from homosexuality.