Liberty Counsel is backing a Kentucky pastor whose volunteer efforts to help juveniles with same-sex attraction ran afoul of a state policy.
The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has revoked the volunteer credentials of David Wells, a pastor with Pleasant View Baptist Church in McQuady. Wells has ministered at juvenile detention facilities for ten years – but Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver says that came to a halt with a new policy that orders volunteers not to speak in a derogatory manner about homosexuality or refer to it as "abnormal, deviant, [or] sinful."
"[Pastor Wells] was asked to sign that he would not say anything with respect to sexual orientation [or] that you could change [your sexual orientation] – and of course that's simply unbiblical," Staver explains.
According to the DJJ policy, Wells couldn't respond scripturally even if a juvenile mentioned being molested and wanted to work out the problems associated with it. Staver contends the agency's edict is illegal.
"The policy itself is discrimination on the basis of viewpoint; it discriminates on the basis of the content, but particularly the viewpoint of the message," the attorney explains. "[Under that policy] you can speak about homosexuality or same-sex attraction, but you can't speak about hope and change. You can't give any kind of information that would lead to changing someone's struggle with same-sex attraction."
Liberty Counsel has written the Department of Juvenile Justice asking them to respond by July 31, revoke the policy, and reinstate Wells.
Liberty Counsel has also intervened on Wells' behalf, explaining in a letter to the DJJ that he is ideally suited to minister to youngsters who have been sexually abused, having successfully overcome similar abuse himself as a young child.