Ex-Gay Group Giving Up on Gay ‘Cure’ Lie?


Several ministries have reportedly broken ties with Exodus International, a prominent ‘ex-gay’ group, after its leader has repeatedly said that in the vast majority of cases a “cure” simply isn’t possible.

Reports the New York Times:

In a phone interview Thursday from Orlando, Fla., where Exodus has its headquarters, Mr. [Alan] Chambers amplified on the views that have stirred so much controversy. He said that virtually every “ex-gay” he has ever met still harbors homosexual cravings, himself included. Mr. Chambers, who left the gay life to marry and have two children, said that gay Christians like himself faced a lifelong spiritual struggle to avoid sin and should not be afraid to admit it.

He said Exodus could no longer condone reparative therapy, which blames homosexuality on emotional scars in childhood and claims to reshape the psyche. And in a theological departure that has caused the sharpest reaction from conservative pastors, Mr. Chambers said he believed that those who persist in homosexual behavior could still be saved by Christ and go to heaven.

Only a few years ago, Mr. Chambers was featured in advertisements along with his wife, Leslie, saying, “Change is possible.” But now, he said in the interview, “Exodus needs to move beyond that slogan.”

Chambers goes on to say that any sex outside of marriage is “sinful,” but adds that Exodus has been asking people with “same-sex attractions,” not by the way an actual pathology but a term that is standard among change-effort groups, to adhere to a standard it hasn’t asked of others, and that isn’t fair. In so doing he compares being gay to “heterosexual lust, pornography, pride or gluttony,” but stays clear of some of the more offensive comparisons that other ex-gay group leaders have used.

Chambers has said that he believes celibacy may be appropriate for many gay people wanting to leave homosexuality behind, saying not everyone will be as successful as he has been at renouncing his “gay life.” He has in the past called ex-gay therapy potentially harmful and ineffective.

What exactly prompted this change from Chambers is unknown, but it is rumored that as many as 11 ministries have broken ties with Exodus, while many in the ex-gay industry have fiercely criticized Chambers for his vocal opposition to the “gay cure” meme.

This comes after reparative therapy enthusiasts suffered a severe blow earlier this year when researcher Doctor Robert Spitzer renounced his 2001 study, the only known mainstream work that ex-gay groups cited in support of their arguments that change was possible. While once Spitzer had defended the study, he made it clear this year that the study was inherently flawed because it relied on participants to self-report their attractions, and that it did little to track if the subjects could maintain their reported change of sexual orientation.


Related Reading:

Group Uses Molestation Myth to Smear Ex-Gay Therapy Ban

Being Gay is Like Alcohol Abuse, Apparently (VIDEO)

Religious Campaign To Keep Gay Cure Therapy for Kids

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Joe Houghton.


Suzana Megles
Suzana Megles4 years ago

I think there are far greater concerns which all religions should address then homosexuality and that is animal cruelty. Right on this page below -I read horses watch their fellow horses being stunned before slaughter. And if they watched that slaughter, it is horrific and certainly traumatic for them. I no longer look to the Catholic Church for compassionate teachings for the animals because there are none that I am aware of. I look to Christ and I believe that He loves all His creatures-both human and animal. If only the world would -there would be a lot less animal suffering. Mercy for Animals recently released a video which showed a worker punching a cow in her face because she reacted because another worker dragged away her baby calf. What mother would not want to keep her baby near? Do you really need that glass of milk? Thank God, I don't. I have been drinking soy or almond milk for 30 years. .

Ahron E.
Ahron E5 years ago

Kai S. people have desires which we keep in check. every man wants to sleep with every woman in the world be we are able to control ourselves. Diabetics as human beings have a desire to eat sugar but they control themselves. Alocholics who have mananged to keep off of drink know if they take one drink they can no longer stop drinking but many al anon control this desire. Muslims do not eat food for a whole month during day time. We as humans can control our desires. G-d does judge with mercy and if he a sees a person whom he gave the desire of homosexuality puts in an effort to control it this person is rewarding and if he fails G-d in his mercy might let it pass but. he should try.

Biby C.
Biby C5 years ago

Gay Cure?!?! What rubbish! Every single gay who has "gone straight" that I know, has gone back to having gay sex whether or not they are still married to the woman they married.

Colleen J.
Colleen J5 years ago

Good. Life will be easier all around if the church can someday come to terms with the fact that they can't 'pray away' everything they don't approve of.
I think being gay is not only natural, but might be an evolutionary response to human overpopulation. Same sex couples can't reproduce after all.
I'm very supportive of LGBT couples adopting children too. They can't have any of their own and there are so many children that desperately need loving homes.

Karen Howard
Karen H5 years ago

Oh, JT S, how I agree with you! I've also asked those questions! If God created everything in the universe, why create something God finds offensive?
In Leviticus 21, the list also includes any man who is "blind or lame, disfigured or deformed ... with a crippled foot or hand, or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect...who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles..."
That's quite a list!

Kai Steeves
Kai S5 years ago

I've mixed feelings about this. On one hand, at least he's admitting that that you can't cure a gay person. On the other, he's still saying that it's something that needs to be repressed. Repressing something like that (or most things for that matter) is very mentally unhealthy.

Hopefully the day will come when people no longer talk about gay 'cures' or 'repressing same-sex urges'. And I hope it's soon. I don't want any kids I adopt thinking that they have to pretend around other people to 'fit in' and 'be normal' if they are LGBT. People should have the right to be themselves.

Miranda Parkinson

Interesting and thought provoking!

Carl Oerke
Carl O5 years ago

Being gay is not a disease, a choice or an abomination. Chambers has come to realize that gays are also God's children and should be acceped as such. He also understands that homosexualtiy cannot be cured because it is not an illness or a personal weakness. The so called cure is denying that you are gay or trying to keep your very human sexual desires repressed until they explode. The Roman Catholic church has tried for a millenium to pray away the gay or have its priests repress their sexual desires, tendencies and urges and you know how well that has worked out with all the sexual abuse allegations. It is like a tea kettle on a stove the pressure will continue to build until it finally escapes. That is why the Roman Catholic church should not force their priests to be celibate. They would be better and more knowledgeable counselors if they could experience sex and marriage and its problems but tradition is everything in the catholic church.

JT Smith5 years ago

As an ordained minister, there's a couple things I want to touch on here. To those who think that prayer doesn't work, I disagree. The problem, from the perspective of us, is that God doesn't always say "yes." I cannot and will not tell you why that is simply because I don't know for a certainty. God has not seen fit to tell me. (Which might well be for the best since one of my more fervent prayers is "Please protect me from those to whom You speak directly.")

The other thing is something that I've never been able to understand at all. If we take it that God is perfect, and if we take it that God created EVERYTHING in the entire universe, then the question that I have to find an answer to is this: Why would God create something that God finds offensive?? In the Old Testament, it states that God finds homosexuals (bisexuality wasn't a recognized concept yet) and midgets (no, I'm not joking) offensive. Since God created all life in all of it's diversity, why would God create something God finds offensive?

While I maintain my faith in God, my faith in humanity's interpretation of God is another matter entirely.

Nancy Crouse
Nancy Crouse5 years ago

People are born the way they are, white, black, brown etc. You cannot change a person's DNA and orientation. Get over it and stop with this sillyness. If you want children, adopt; do not ruin someone's life by hiding who you really are and then 'coming out'. I have seen this all too often. Most of the time it is a negative experience but, in some cases the couple can split amicably and share custody of the children.
The children will eventually adapt to the 'new family'. so will everyone else.