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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 07:42 AM

Exodus from shame

After nearly four decades at the forefront of the evangelical Christian movement to “cure” people of homosexual attraction and behavior, last week Exodus International abruptly announced that the organization would shut down, with president Alan Chambers releasing a statement apologizing to the LGBT community for the damage they have caused.

In the statement, Chambers said that while he does not apologize for his biblical beliefs on homosexuality or the good work that his organization accomplished, he acknowledges the pain and trauma that Exodus and their affiliates have caused for those promised a cure of their same-sex attractions and the villainization of the LGBT community that sprung from their work.

“Friends and critics alike have said it’s not enough to simply change our message or website,” wrote Chambers. “I agree. I cannot simply move on and pretend that I have always been the friend that I long to be today. I understand why I am distrusted and why Exodus is so hated.”

The move by Exodus follows years of evolution, as they recently shunned their previous belief that same-sex attraction could be “cured,” instead focusing on preventing people from acting on those urges. This change was brought about by hearing stories of abuse and harm toward those “treated” — including increasing incidents of suicide — and the overwhelming consensus of scientific research and professionals that such attraction could not simply be “prayed away.”


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