Friday, June 29, 2007

3 Former Leaders of Ex-gay Ministry Apologize

Via Ed Brayton, 3 former leaders of ex-gay ministry apologize:
Three former leaders of Exodus International, often described as the nation's largest ex-gay ministry, publicly apologized Wednesday for the harm they said their efforts had caused many gays and lesbians who believed the group's message that sexual orientation could be changed through prayer.

Speaking at a Hollywood news conference, the former leaders of the interdenominational Christian organization said they had acted sincerely in their years of work with Exodus. But they said they had all, over time, become disillusioned with the group's ideas and concerned about what they described as the wrenching human toll of such gay conversion efforts.

...

"Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integral part of themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families," the three, including former Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee, said in a joint written statement presented at the news conference. "Although we acted in good faith, we have since witnessed the isolation, shame, fear and loss of faith that this message creates."

Now a licensed family therapist in Riverside, Bussee left Exodus in 1979 after he fell in love with a man who was a fellow ex-gay counselor with the group. He speaks out frequently against ex-gay therapies.

"God's love and forgiveness does indeed change people," said Bussee, who remains an evangelical Christian. "It changed me. It just didn't make me straight."


That must have taken a lot of guts. Kudos to them. Not that it will necessarily change anything:
Exodus' president, Alan Chambers, reached by phone at the meeting in Irvine, said he disagreed with its critics, adding that its methods have helped many people, including him.

"Exodus is here for people who want an alternative to homosexuality," Chambers said. "There are thousands of people like me who have overcome this. I think there's room for more than one opinion on this subject, and giving people options isn't dangerous."

4 comments:

Sadie Lou said...

>>>God's love and forgiveness does indeed change people," said Bussee, who remains an evangelical Christian. "It changed me. It just didn't make me straight.

It's about time some Christians actually get quoted saying something that resembles what we learn in the Bible.
Hey JA!!
How's it going.
Glad to see you're still at it. I'll be back.

FunkyJew82 said...

very interesting article.
like ur blog, will try and visit more often.

Anonymous said...

but can prayer help one to become gay?

tikkunger said...

This is an interesting topic so thanks for posting it. I wrote a 12 page paper on this subject (albeit from a Jewish POV) and I therefore have an ongoing interest on the subject. To be honest at the time of the paper I actually found myself to the more on the side of proponents of the Ex-gay movement than on the side of its detractors. Not because I felt that homosexuality is wrong but simply because (at the time) I felt that it was important to allow people opportunities and information which could allow them to come to their own conclusions about their sexual identity and behavior.

I suppose I felt that if someone had unwanted same-sex attractions and wanted to live within an Orthodox Jewish framework. They should be allowed to explore options for doing so, just as they should be able to access and explore options and info for engaging and LGBT lifestyle. It was never a question of whether or not homosexuality is real and or exists it was more (IMO) about an individual's freedom of choice around the issue. I mean monks become celibate and so do priests of their free will and one could argue that these things are as unnatural as trying to convince someone to exit a " gay lifestyle". However after following things on and off for the last year I agree with these gentlemen, more damage is often being done than good.

Anyhow thanks again for the interesting post.