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Friday, June 21, 2013

A Homophobic Organization Throws in the Towel: Goodbye to Exodus International


For decades Exodus International has been a Christian organization with the goal of changing gay people into straight people, primarily using the power of prayer, much counseling, and various activities (such as avoiding gay situations, shunning all male environments (for  men) or female environments (for women), learning how to be more butch (for men) or girlish (for women), and similar nonsense.  This has never worked, but that didn’t stop Exodus International from having a 37 year run.

Mr. Chambers
All that has now ended.  This week Exodus International, through its President Alan Chambers, announced that it’s closing its doors forever.  Amazingly, this included an apology from Mr. Chambers, a married man who confessed that he himself still has homosexual urges.  He acknowledged that during his Presidency he’s heard numerous horror stories of gays who came to Exodus believing its message that change to heterosexuality is possible, stories about very religious people who wanted so much to change, to believe the message, and then to find it didn’t happen, leading to despair, depression, and even suicides.  Alan Chambers said this:

Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. . .  I am sorry that I . . . failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry. . . that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine. 

Exodus actually has an ugly history of failure.  This from Wikipedia: “In 1979, two of Exodus International's co-founders (Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper) quit the group and held a life commitment ceremony together. On June 27, 2007 Bussee, along with fellow former Exodus leaders Jeremy Marks and Darlene Bogle, each came out as gay or lesbian and issued a public apology for their roles in Exodus. In April 2010, Bussee stated he'd never seen Exodus actually change any participant into a heterosexual.”

Governor Brown
Exodus is not alone in this fraud.  Religious groups (like “Love in Action”—now renamed “Restoration Path”) and so-called reparative therapists have also seen their attempts come to nothing but heartache and tragedy.  Parents with homosexual children, their hearts rent with the horrors of homosexuality, send them to such entities, only to find that nothing happens except money is wasted (reparative therapy with a psychologist can cost upwards of $10,000 a year with no results to show for it) and years of futility down the drain.  In the end, homosexuals are still homosexuals in spite of earnest and sincere efforts to make them otherwise.  Ex-gay conversion doesn’t work, and even leading psychiatrists like Robert Spitzer, who once championed reparative therapy, have quit and themselves apologized for a practice that is now condemned by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychiatric Association.  As of January 1, 2014, California will ban any “mental health advisor” from promising to change children from straight to gay.  As California’s governor, Jerry Brown said as he signed the bill, “These practices have no basis in science or medicine, and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”  No reputable scientist currently believes that homosexuality is anything other than an inborn and unalterable trait, even if the reason why evolution has chosen it remains something of a mystery.  [For my own take on that, see Related Posts below for “Homosexuality: The Iceberg Theory”].

What does work is accepting one’s homosexuality and learning how to become a worthwhile human being, as to which sexual orientation plays a fairly minor part in living the good life.

During my gay rights activist days and right up until the current moment, I’ve had a standing offer about ex-gay conversion. I will contribute $5000 to the charity of choice of an individual or organization that can produce five men who were once gay and are now straight. There are various conditions: (1) the men must have had significant gay experiences in their lives, (2) become straight through whatever process, and (3) for at least five years thereafter remained completely straight. Finally, they must not have ever been leaders or volunteer workers for ex-gay organizations (just, therefore, normal members) and pass rigorous tests to determine their current sexual orientation (see me for details—I am serious about this). Since ex-gay organizations have been around for over thirty years, you’d think they’d have thousands of former participants who’d easily meet my criteria, but so far no one has taken me up on this. Note that I’m not proposing a bet. If the person/organization can’t find five men who pass the tests, they lose nothing other than a creditability that is often widely touted, but is in tatters whenever considered objectively.  (I would require that if five converted straight men are not produced, the expenses of testing be paid for by the entity accepting my challenge.)

After years of advertising this, no one has accepted my challenge.  If anyone ever does, stay tuned.  I’ll post massive details of what happens on this blog.



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Related Posts:
"The Aging Gay Rights Activist," March 24, 2010
"Frightening the Horses," April 4, 2010
“Homosexuality: The Iceberg Theory,” April 25, 2010
“How I Lost a Gay Marriage Debate,” April 29, 2010
“Straight Talk,” May 10, 2010
“Marijuana and Me,” July 11, 2010
“How To Tell if You’re Gay,” August 31, 2010
“The Thunderbolt,” September 3, 2010
“How To Change Gay People Into Straight People,” September 20, 2010
"How Many Homosexuals Are There in the World?" November 8, 2010
"Choose To Be Gay, Choose To Be Straight," January 25, 2011
"The Homosexual Agenda To Conquer the World," February 8, 2011
"Seducing Straight Men," March 3, 2011
"Coming Out: How To Tell People You're Gay," March 27, 2011
"Jumping the Broom: How 'Married' are Married Gay Couples?" July 17, 2011
"The Legacy of Homophobia," August 2, 2011
"Going Undercover at an Ex-Gay Meeting," September 19, 2011
"The Presumption of Heterosexuality and the Invisible Homosexual," October 2, 2011
"Gay Bashers, Homophobes, and Me," January 27, 2012
"On Being a Gay Sports Fan," March 9, 2012
"Sexual Labels: Straight, Gay, Bi," April 15, 2012
"The History of Gay Rights in Columbus, Ohio," June 4, 2012
“I Support the Right of the Boy Scouts To Ban Gays,” July 24, 2012
“Straight People: Thanks From the LGBT Community,” November 20, 2012
“Gay Marriage, DOMA, Proposition 8 and the Mysterious Supreme Court,” January 15, 2013
"Disowning Your Gay Children," October 9, 2013

“A Gay Hoosier Lawyer Looks at Indiana’s RFRA: The Religious Bigot Protection Act,” March 30, 2015; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2015/03/a-gay-hoosier-lawyer-looks-at-indianas.html
“A Guide to the Best of My Blog,” April 29, 2013

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