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Exodus issues apology for 'ex-gay conversion' therapy

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   June 20, 2013 at 8:12 AM  |  Updated June 20, 2013 at 9:15 AM   |   Comments

June 20 (UPI) -- Exodus International, one of the largest and most visible "ex-gay" Christian organizations issued a statement Wednesday in which Exodus president Alan Chambers apologized to the LGBT community for "years of undue suffering and judgment at the hands of the organization and the Church as a whole."

Chambers went on to apologize for attempting to "cure" homosexual individuals through discredited "conversion" therapy. When speaking of the controversial practice, he said "I understand why I am distrusted and why Exodus is hated."

"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 I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine."

Though he apologizes, Cambers still believes homosexuality is a sin.

Exodus’ mission remains “Mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality,” and Chambers has not abandoned his “deeply held biblical beliefs about the boundaries I see in scripture surrounding sex.”

"I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage. But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek. My beliefs about these things will never again interfere with God’s command to love my neighbor as I love myself."

Though Chamber said in his statement that the ministry would continue by "hosting thoughtful and safe conversations about gender and sexuality," the Exodus International Board of Directors unanimously voted to close Exodus and begin a separate ministry.

"This is a new season of ministry, to a new generation,” said Chambers. “Our goals are to reduce fear (reducefear.org), and come alongside churches to become safe, welcoming, and mutually transforming communities."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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