Exodus International, the Orlando-based ex-gay group has announced it will shut down and its president has apologized to the gay community.
"Our ministry has been public and therefore any acknowledgement of wrong must also be public," writes President Alan Chambers on Exodus' website. "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."
Several gay groups immediately commented on Exodus' decision:
From Truth Wins Out:
“We applaud and congratulate Alan Chambers for his willingness to approach this decision with honesty, integrity and authenticity,” said Truth Wins Out’s Associate Director Evan Hurst. “It takes a real man to publicly confront the people whose lives were destroyed by his organization’s work, and to take real, concrete action to begin to repair that damage, and to work to ensure that no more lives are destroyed by harmful, discredited ‘ex-gay’ therapy. We look forward to a day when we can truly consider Alan to be an ally.”
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."