Ex-Gay Ministry Shuts Doors After 37 Years
In a move that shocked both supporters and detractors of Christian reparative therapy, the Board of Directors of the controversial ex-gay ministry Exodus International announced in a press release Wednesday night that the organization will be shutting down after nearly four decades. This news comes less than one day after Exodus president Alan Chambers issued a public apology to the LGBT community for "years of undue" suffering.
The press release issued by the Exodus Board of Directors Wednesday night reads:
Exodus International, the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality announced tonight that it’s closing its doors after three-plus decades of ministry. The Board of Directors reached a decision after a year of dialogue and prayer about the organization’s place in a changing culture.
"We’re not negating the ways God used Exodus to positively affect thousands of people, but a new generation of Christians is looking for change - and they want to be heard," Tony Moore, Board member of Exodus. The message came less than a day after Exodus released a statement apologizing to the gay community for years of undue judgment by the organization and the Christian Church as a whole.
The organization has updated their Wikipedia page to reflect their current status of operation using past tense verbiage
Exodus International was a non-profit, interdenominational ex-gay Christian organization that sought to limit homosexual desires. The organization announced its closure on June 19, 2013
The decision came less than one day after Exodus International President Alan Chambers who admits to having same-sex attraction, issued a formal apology to the LGBT Community at large on the Exodus website. - excerpts below:
"Three years ago, Leslie and I began a very public conversation with Our America’s Lisa Ling, from the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) regarding some of our deeply held beliefs about Christianity and the LGBT community. Today, we have decided to carry this public conversation even further. ....."
"Several months ago, this conversation led me to call Lisa Ling to take another step on this messy journey. I asked if she would, once again, help us add to the unfolding story by covering my apology to the people who have been hurt by Exodus International. Our ministry has been public and therefore any acknowledgement of wrong must also be public. I haven’t always been the leader of Exodus, but I am now and someone must finally own and acknowledge the hurt of others. I do so anxiously, but willingly."
"It is strange to be someone who has both been hurt by the church’s treatment of the LGBT community, and also to be someone who must apologize for being part of the very system of ignorance that perpetuated that hurt. Today it is as if I’ve just woken up to a greater sense of how painful it is to be a sinner in the hands of an angry church."
This isn’t the first time Chambers has back peddled on the validity of reparative therapy. Nearly a year ago, during his address to a Gay Christian Network conference, stated that 99.9% of conversion therapy participants do not experience any change to their sexuality and apologized for the previous Exodus slogan "Change Is Possible."