Exodus gives up on praying the gay away

A prominent conservative Christian group that touted faith-based therapy to convert gay and lesbian believers into straight counterparts has thrown in the towel. It even sounds like some in the organization had a come to Jesus moment of the reality kind:

Reuters — Exodus International billed itself as the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality, operating since 1976. It announced it would cease operations in a statement on its website on Wednesday. The Irvine, California-based group’s board unanimously voted to close Exodus International and begin a separate ministry, the statement said.

“I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have experienced,” President Alan Chambers said in a statement. “I am sorry some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents.”

Chambers said he was part of a “system of ignorance.”

I suppose there’s reason to be skeptical. But every thing I’ve seen so far points to this being a genuine change of heart and if so, that’s rare event indeed for anyone. Let alone from this crowd.


  1. M can help you with that. says

    So they’ll reform under a new name (“begin a separate ministry”) devoted to “helping” LGB people stay celibate (or restrict themselves to opposite-sex relationships in the case of bisexual people). But they’ll be nice and respectful and loving in their insistence that their god commands that society and the state continue to maintain heterosexual privilege. They’ll stop claiming that they can make people heterosexual, but they won’t stop insisting that only married heterosexuals can be allowed to have sex (or legal recognition of their unions).

  2. says

    Can I point you to this letter by John Shore?


    I have just a couple of quick questions, though. And since I know that you want to be as open and transparent as possible about everything you and Exodus are doing, I thought I’d go ahead and ask them.

    Amongst the many conciliatory-sounding things you wrote in your apology are buried these words:

    I cannot apologize for my deeply held biblical beliefs about the boundaries I see in scripture surrounding sex …

    and also these:

    I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage.

    Now, my guess is that, with everything going on, you got so busy that you simply forgot to edit out of your apology those two statements. I figure that must be the case; otherwise, one is forced to conclude that you haven’t in the slightest changed your belief that gay people can and should pray away their gay. And if you still believe that the Bible proscribes, denounces, and condemns homosexuality, then … well, then what exactly are you apologizing for? About what are you feeling remorseful that matters?

    hat tip, Dan Savage

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