Former "Ex-Gays" Apologize for Causing Harm to Gay Community
Three former leaders of "ex-gay" organization Exodus International held a news conference at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center on Wednesday on the eve of their former organization's annual conference, being held in nearby Irvine, California.
A joint statement was read by former Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee:
"Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integral part of themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families. Although we acted in good faith, we have since witnessed the isolation, shame, fear and loss of faith that this message creates."
According to the Associated Press, "Bussee left Exodus in 1979 after he fell in love with a man who was a fellow ex-gay counselor with the group. He speaks out frequently against ex-gay therapies. The others speaking at the news conference included Jeremy Marks, former president of Exodus International Europe, and Darlene Bogle, the founder and former director of Paraklete Ministries, an Exodus referral agency based in Hayward, California. Chambers, who is married and has children, said he and other current Exodus officials are careful to warn those who seek help that such a path is not easy. Sexual orientation, he said, 'isn't a light switch that you can switch on and off.'"
Current Exodus president Alan Chambers responded to their claims: "Exodus is here for people who want an alternative to homosexuality. There are thousands of people like me who have overcome this. I think there's room for more than one opinion on this subject, and giving people options isn't dangerous."
The L.A. Times reports: "Among those at the news conference was the Rev. Mel White, founder and president of a faith-based gay rights group called Soulforce. White, who was the ghostwriter for the Rev. Jerry Falwell's autobiography and later came out as gay, praised the former Exodus leaders. 'It's a major moment, a paradigm shift,' White said. 'They're saying this doesn't work, and that's incredibly important.'"
The Exodus conference is expected to attract 1,000 people.
Below, a few recent videos of Michael Bussee speaking out about being an ex-"ex-gay". More here.