Is Change Possible?

October 22

Last week, Senator Mazie Hirono berated Judge Amy Coney Barrett for using use the term “sexual preference” during her confirmation hearing. Senator Hirono said that it was “offensive” and “outdated.”

What made the term offensive? According to the senator, “It is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice.” She went on to say, “It is not! Sexual orientation is a key part of a person’s identity. Sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and is immutable (i.e. unchangeable).”

While it is true that some will identify as gay (or struggle with unwanted feelings) through life, it’s not as inevitable or fixed as Senator Hirono made it sound.

In fact, many have found hope and healing – and even a new identity – in Christ. If you want to read many heart-warming personal stories about people who have had their identities transformed by the Gospel, take a look at the work of the “Changed Movement.”

I met one of the founders of the movement, Elizabeth Woning, a few years ago in Washington D.C. She embodies the movement. There is no hate or anger. They have a simple message that, “Changed” is possible! And here is what they say about themselves.  “CHANGED is a community of friends who once identified as LGBTQ+. Today, we celebrate the love of Jesus and His freedom in our lives.”

And, “We are a growing community of men and women who have explored the depths of our identities and found freedom. We have confronted the pain, rejection, and despair that often accompany the homosexual experience; and so, our approach is sensitive, compassionate, genuine.”

The founders of the Changed Movement, Ken Williams and Elizabeth Woning, both formerly identified as gay. Yet today, they have been married to their respective spouses for over a decade and have both experienced radical transformation through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. Ken and Elizabeth’s life experience along with many, many others would seem to contradict Senator Hirono’s suggestion that someone who identifies as gay will never be able to change.

Sadly, that’s the message that many hear. Some are told that, even if they don’t want the feelings they experience, they have no other choice.

In fact, and very sadly, that’s the law in Rhode Island. Youth are not legally free to make that choice themselves. In 2017, the Rhode Island House passed its “conversion therapy ban.” Bill 5277 prohibits a licensed health care professional from helping a minor, under 18 years of age, experience the freedom and joy that Ken and Elizabeth found. This law only allows licensed professionals to affirm the decision towards attraction to the same sex, even if those feelings are unwanted. The law bans licensed professionals from offering basic talk therapy to help those with unwanted feelings voluntarily work through those feelings and pursue a different choice.

Voting has consequences and we see it evidenced in Rhode Island and nationally as progressives have invaded the political landscape. Know where your candidates stand on moral and family issues. Family Policy Alliance has a resource to assist voters:

FPA’s 2020 Presidential Voter Guide.

Please take advantage of it. For information on early voting visit this webpage.

Remember, choices are important – in what therapy a child has access to, and in who we vote for.


Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Advisors – Rhode Island