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Last week's Love in Action protests sparked the formation of a new gay rights activist group.

The Group: Protests against Love in Action (LIA), an ex-gay ministry in Raleigh, wrapped up last Friday, but a handful of the protesters say they'll continue to fight programs that convert gays to heterosexuals.

At the Mid-South Pride parade on June 11th, Alex Polotsky and Cale LeFevre, organizers of the daily protests against LIA, announced the formation of the Queer Action Coalition (QAC).

The Cause: "We have two goals. One is to continue to bring awareness to the ex-gay issue, but in a larger sense, our goal is to create an awareness that queer rights are human rights," said Polotsky, who handles media relations for the group.

The Plan: QAC is currently organizing a speaker's bureau, so local church groups and civic organizations can request someone to talk to their group about the ex-gay movement.

"There are already people you can call and request informational packets from about the ex-gay movement. But we can say, ‘Hey, we're local. We know the issues. We can come out and talk with you,'" said Polotsky.

On Friday, June 24th, QAC will be hosting an open forum to discuss the progress of their LIA campaign. Also, on Friday and Saturday night, they will be hosting a performance of Peterson Toscano's one-man play, Homo No Mo, at the Media Co-op on South Cooper.

The group is also trying to bring Judy Shepard, mother of Wyoming hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard, to speak.

Local filmmaker Morgan Jon Fox is on QAC's five-member steering committee, and he says a documentary on homosexuality in Memphis is in the works. It will include coverage from the protests as well as other aspects of gay rights in Memphis, such as how gays are treated in city schools.

"We're really trying to turn out the energy of people who want to be public about the fact that they're comfortable with who they are," said Polotsky. "LIA goes around talking about their views, and we'll be doing the same." 

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