Nine prominent former "ex-gay" activists, including Yvette Cantu Schneider, have issued a statement denouncing the practice and calling for a ban.
BuzzFeed broke the news of the statement released by Schneider, Brad Allen, Darlene Bogle, Michael Bussee, Catherine Chapman, Jeremy Marks, Bill Prickett, Tim Rymel, and John J Smid. The nine were affiliated with some of the largest and most powerful "ex-gay" programs around the globe, including Exodus International, which closed last year after founder Alan Chambers issued an apology for his activism with the organization.
“We all got together and said it’s time to produce a statement that is not a statement of apology, but a statement on our beliefs on how conversation therapy harms people,” Smid told BuzzFeed. “We felt like we needed to make that statement.”
Smid said he experienced the harms of gay conversion or reparative therapy firsthand — enduring what he described as the damaging message that gay people are somehow “broken and sick and that they need to be repaired,” he said. Leading medical and psychological associations, such as the American Psychological Association, have discredited and criticized gay conversion therapy.
“In my own life, that message kept me trapped in a cycle of believing that I was emotionally ill and incapable of having a healthy life until those things are fixed,” he said. “For over two decades, I lived in that mind-set. That’s why reparative therapy is so damaging. That was the message that I received and that I taught in my involvement with Exodus and Love in Action.”
The statement comes just days after former "ex-gay" leader, Yvette Cantu Schneider, shared her own renunciation of her leadership with the "ex-gay" movement, as well as providing great detail about the campaign to pass California's Prop 8, the misogyny of the anti-LGBT movement, and her mistrust that an "ex-gay" person was really trustworthy.