San Diego

Mission Valley Religious Retreat Hits Snag, Facing Opposition from San Diego's LGBTQ Community

An 18-acre religious retreat planned for Mission Valley has hit another snag in approval.

The Legacy International Center plans to feature replicas of Roman catacombs and Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, according to the developer’s website.

The San Diego Planning Commission, set to review the project this week, requested a continuance on Friday and a new date for review has not yet been set, according to a public information officer with the city.

The retreat is planned for the lot where the Mission Valley Resort sits along with the Family Restaurant, and a liquor store.

Opposition to the development is already mounting among San Diego’s LGBTQ community because of the developer’s ties to the discredited “ex-Gay” movement.

Televangelist Morris Cerullo describe the site as a tourist attraction in an online promotional video, saying the idea for it came to him from Jesus in a dream.

The location is near the Interstate 8 freeway in Mission Valley, just down the hill from Hillcrest and UCSD Medical Center.

Traffic has already been listed as a concern among opponents of the idea, along with Cerullo’s belief in trying to turn gay people straight.

“Thinking you can be changed from your orientation, it’s really a step backwards in where we are as a community. It really has no place in San Diego,” said Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, the president of the San Diego Democrats for Equality club.

The Union Tribune first reported on new details on the $160 million project this morning.

If approved by the San Diego Planning Commission, the Legacy Center would need full City Council approval as well.

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