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    San Diego County Christians ministered to thousands of homosexuals July 26-27 during the city’s annual “gay pride” festival in Balboa Park. Outreach events included prayer walks, an ex-gay ministry booth, salvation tract distribution, and a protest at the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

    San Diego “pride” kicked off Friday night, July 25, with a rally at the Balboa Park Organ Pavilion. There, Mayor Dick Murphy, a Republican, promised to nominate Democrat lesbian pro-abortion City Councilwoman Toni Atkins (District 3) as the city’s next deputy mayor.

    Saturday’s parade featured more than 200 contingents, including churches and student organizations, and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis as grand marshal. On June 29, Dumanis and her sex partner, San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Denise Nelesen, represented Log Cabin Republicans in San Francisco’s “gay pride” parade. That parade featured public male and female nudity, simulated sex acts, light sadomasochism, and same-sex foreplay performed in front of small children.

    El Cajon’s West Hills Christian Fellowship conducted its annual prayer walk along the parade route a week before the event. Local area Catholics conducted a second prayer walk early on parade morning. They observed rainbow flags adorning many buildings, including St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral. A leather fetish flag, symbolized by white, black and blue stripes with a red heart in one corner, waved atop another structure.

    Theresa Ellis, director of the San Diego chapter of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), set up a “Christian presence” booth in Balboa Park during the parade. Her display included a large banner advertising “Freedom from Homosexuality” through the Catholic Church-approved programs Courage and Encourage to help those struggling with same-sex attraction.

    Said Ellis, “We had literature on the Christian, social, and psychological aspects of homosexuality. Our banner was easily seen and read by the constant stream of people walking by us to enter the post-parade festival being held at Marston Point (at the south end of the park). We heard comments and witnessed reactions that were, for the most part, very intolerant and uncompassionate, including obscene gestures. Some people thanked us for being a Christian presence in the park.”

    A five-man team led by Phil Magnan of Calvary Chapel San Diego passed out salvation tracts, including former homosexual Stephen Bennett’s testimony, “I Was Gay.” Magnan’s team included two pastors-in-training for whom the “pride” festival was a real eye-opener.

    “This was my first ‘gay’ ministry event,” said Jared Lee, 23. “It was intense being out there among all those homosexuals. We passed out Stephen Bennett’s tract, and a lot of them took it, but then came back saying, ‘You can have this back,’ or ‘I still am gay.’

    “I was so grieved that they didn’t understand that they could be set free from bondage by Jesus Christ, especially because most of them were young people.”

    Lee recalled, “One guy who took a tract said, ‘Oh, it’s the Jesus people.’ I was grieved, but then I also took it as a compliment that they saw Jesus in me. It was hard to see the darkness in these people as they celebrated their sin, and I know satan did not want me there.”

    Richard Bagu, 18, had a more visceral reaction: “It made me physically sick to be there. I felt like I was being punched in the stomach over and over. I’ve ministered at abortion clinics and porn shops, and that’s hard, but this literally drained me. I had an overwhelmingly demonic feeling while I was there. I actually had one guy shove me. Another threatened to come back and beat me up.

    “What really surprised me was all the families there and the parents who were exposing their kids to this immorality.”

    Bagu said he didn’t try to push the tracts on anyone “because I knew I was going into a lion’s den. Jesus talked to the ones that had open ears to hear, and that’s the way I had to handle it. I want to encourage more people to go with us next time, and I pray that the Spirit will move them to do so.”

    Ron Millar of Mountain View Community Church in Rancho Bernardo also passed out tracts after seeing a notice about the parade at San Diego State University, where he attends graduate classes. “I thought [the Pride event] was a good place for Christians to go and spread God’s love.”

    On Sunday afternoon, July 27, approximately 50 Christians gave prophetic witness in front of the San Diego Zoo, which hosted a “gay” circuit party for the 11th year in a row. This year was the second year Christians protested the event.

    According to studies by the Centers for Disease Control and the University of California San Diego, a high percentage of homosexuals report using alcohol and illegal drugs and having unsafe sex at circuit parties.

    Co-sponsored by Concerned Women for America of San Diego and Imperial Counties and San Diego Christians United, the protest featured signs that said, “Zoo party today may expose children to drug use and sex acts” and “Parents: Protect your children from perversion.”

    James Hartline, 45, a former homosexual and member of Calvary Temple Assembly of God and Horizon Park Chapel in Hillcrest, who lived the “gay” lifestyle for 35 years before being completely delivered three years ago, joined the protesters.

    “The people who drove by were so venomous, flipping us off and cursing us. Most of them were already drunk,” Hartline observed.

    On a brighter note, at least one family was observed turning out of the Zoo.

    CWA spokeswoman Leigh Hughes said, “CWA is disappointed that the media, as well as city officials, seem to have so little concern for the health and safety of people who go to these parties, as well as a concern for the community at large and the children who may be exposed to these events.”

    For more information about Concerned Women for America or to assist with future outreaches, contact Cindy Moles at (760) 929-0352.

    For more information about PFOX, Courage and Encourage, contact Theresa Ellis at (619) 971-2100.

    To obtain copies of the I Was Gay tract, contact Stephen Bennett Ministries at (800) 832-3623.

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