A pair of billboards are causing controversy in Waco’s LGBT community.
The billboards have only been up for only a few days and one of them is located at the intersection of West Waco Drive and North Fourteenth Street. The other at North 18th and Reuter Ave.
It reads “Ex-Gays prove change is possible.”
The billboards are sponsored by PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays), a Virginia-based volunteer group. The group has a handful of billboards in Texas
The group believes people are not born gay and believe it is a choice and is something that can be fixed.
PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs sent Channel 6 links to studies she said proved being gay has not been scientifically proven to be genetic.
Local LGBT leaders are not buying her claims and point to conflicting research that suggests genetics at least partly contribute to a person’s sexual orientation.
Reverend Charley Garrison of The Central Texas Metropolitan community Church said the billboards condemn people who are gay rather than support them.
“I was disappointed that someone would come to our community and put up something that goes against the diversity of the community,” Garrison said.
David Pickup, a scientific advisor to PFOX said he has nothing against people who identify as gay.
“There’s room for all viewpoints,” Pickup said. “Tolerance is a 360 thing. And, we care. And, we give clients what they want.”
Pickup said he does not try to change people who do not want to change. However, he said his practice helps people who tell him they are not happy and want counseling.