Protest, prayers surround Oregon’s Adolescent Sexuality Conference


SAY WHAT?: Protesters organize against an Adolscent Sexuality Conference.

By Matt Kaufman |

SEASIDE, Ore. — In the parish hall of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, a group of protesters are going over the ground rules: Keep it silent and dignified. Let your signs speak for you. Don’t let yourself be provoked into arguments.

“We’re doing this with the love of Jesus Christ in our hearts,” said one of the leaders, Michael Kelly.

“Pray for the conversion of the folks who are supporting this (conference),” said co-leader, Jim Welsh.

They pray. Then they hit the streets to protest the Adolescent Sexuality Conference, two blocks away. By the time the conference starts, there are nearly 100 of them.

Until a few months ago, Welsh had never heard of the conference. He ran across it while checking the Convention Center’s availability for a church youth event.

“I wondered, ‘What the heck is this?’ ” he said. “I started going through the agenda and thought, ‘Wow, this is really out there.’ ”

The more the retired Seaside grocer said learned, the less he liked it. He read materials handed out at last year’s conference including the pamphlet, “How to Get Your Groove On … Fluid Free,” which coaches kids on phone sex and “sext” messages, and the Valentine-style cards with messages like “The only thing that can come between us is a condom” and “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m wearing my NuvaRing, now I’m ready for you.”

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