Closing time: "Ex-gay" group realizes they're wrong

The leadership of Exodus International has announced that they are shutting their doors after 3 decades of practicing so-called ‘ex-gay’ ministry.

According to a statement on the group’s web site, the board of directors was finding ‘ex-gay’ work more and more difficult, given their anti-gay words and actions.

“Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living, breathing organism,” said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus. “For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”

The president of Exodus, Alan Chambers, was a well-documented figure on GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project for previous anti-gay statements. However, his tone and words began shifting over the course of the past two years. Today, Chambers posted an apology on the Exodus web site for the harm that he had caused LGBT people and their families in his quest to make them match an anti-gay view of God.

I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have experienced.  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.

I am sorry I didn’t stand up to people publicly ‘on my side’ who called you names like sodomite—or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, 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 when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him, I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.

The timing comes as Exodus opened what is now to be their last conference. It also comes just one day before an episode of Our America with Lisa Ling, in which Chambers offers an apology (part of which is printed above) to a group of ex-gay survivors. This is a follow-up for Ling, who two years ago did an episode on so-called ‘ex-gay’ programs that featured Chambers and other ‘ex-gay’ practitioners.

"Alan Chambers, and the rest of the Exodus leadership, has fully and completely come to the realization that their so-called 'ministry' has done harm to thousands of people,” said Ross Murray, Director of News and Faith Initiatives. “They are coming to the right decision to end that harm now."

You can see a preview of the Our America episode, which will be airing Thursday evening.