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LGBT Activists Plan Protest Outside Exodus International's Annual Conference

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As I mentioned yesterday, the group Exodus International, once primarily known for an "ex-gay therapy" they have officially disavowed yet still tacitly support by claiming same-sex desire is an illness, is gathering in Minneapolis this weekend for their annual conference. They're not the only ones.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that LGBT activists are planning to protest out the event — and one of them is a former member, a psychologist named Jeffry Ford.

As a married, born-again Christian in the 1980s, he led an Exodus-affiliated group in Minnesota while struggling with his own gay feelings. Ford believed he could make them go away, and tried prayer, electroshock therapy, an exorcism, and a 12-step program called Homosexuals Anonymous.

"I was sincere, and I was sincerely deceived, and I was sincerely doing things and encouraging things for people that were ultimately very hurtful."

When he was the ministry's director, Ford says committed gay couples would ask him how to come to terms with their relationships while adhering to a strict interpretation of the Bible.

"I told them they could be best friends, but they couldn't keep living together and they couldn't keep sexualizing their relationship anymore," Ford said. "My heart breaks when I think about what that kind of teaching does to people."

Exodus president Alan Chambers has been making the press rounds to defend his group and in doing so, told MPR that he doesn't identify as gay or ex-gay, even though he's still attracted to other men.

"I hate the term 'ex-gay,'" he said. "I wouldn't call myself a gay man. I'm a husband, I'm a father, I'm a Christian, I'm a pastor, I'm a darn good gardener, I can decorate with the best of them. I think 'gay' falls short of the description of who I am, and 'ex-gay' falls equally short."

There is a word that describes Chambers, but I can't quite think of it — it's on the tip of my tongue. A little help, reader?

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Comments

  1. They are basically changing from "We well turn you straight" to "You're gay, but you can't *be* gay, and you have to be celibate or marry an opposite-sex partner". See also Josh Weed.

    Posted by: Steve | Jun 28, 2012 7:27:27 AM


  2. A@@hole?

    Posted by: Jack M | Jun 28, 2012 7:58:57 AM


  3. There has got to be something more that can be done to stop this from continuing, given that all the major medical and psychological bodies find ex-gay "therapy" harmful, how can these snake oil salesmen continue to get away with doing this and not be fined for some kind of malpractice?

    What am I missing here? Is it just because it is about queers and that this is a "religious" therapy that no one can touch them?

    It is abuse - pure and simple and there are kids being sent to these ministries against their will. Alan Chambers is as close to Satan as I can imagine AND I am an Atheist.

    I have seen this "therapy" hurt a dear friend (an ex of mine) who is now a destroyed human being with no desire for love in any form (romantic, friendship or familial) from anyone. It makes me sick to my stomach.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Jun 28, 2012 8:01:41 AM


  4. He's still on his journey and I'd say, "leave him alone to continue his journey" except that what he says in his visibility hurts many.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Jun 28, 2012 8:24:36 AM


  5. Closeted coward? Pathetic dips***? Self-loathing bastard? Dangerous quack?

    Posted by: Rich F. | Jun 28, 2012 8:44:53 AM


  6. Is there a lot than can be done? Maybe revoke the medical licenses of the "psychologists" and "counselors" who advocate and participate in ex-gay therapy. But when it comes to things like finance, these groups are usually being bankrolled by conservative groups or rich self-hating gays to begin with. They are going to exist I think, regardless. But what can be done is continuing to highlight the fact these organizations are frauds, and basically prey on people insecure in their homosexuality. We need to highlight the reality these organizations promote lies, and we need to also highlight the fact being gay is NOT A CHOICE for most people and cannot be changed and cannot be influenced, and that denying natural immutable feelings is unhealthy to ones' psyche.

    Posted by: Francis | Jun 28, 2012 8:45:06 AM


  7. Is there a lot than can be done? Maybe revoke the medical licenses of the "psychologists" and "counselors" who advocate and participate in ex-gay therapy. But when it comes to things like finance, these groups are usually being bankrolled by conservative groups or rich self-hating gays to begin with. They are going to exist I think, regardless. But what can be done is continuing to highlight the fact these organizations are frauds, and basically prey on people insecure in their homosexuality. We need to highlight the reality these organizations promote lies, and we need to also highlight the fact being gay is NOT A CHOICE for most people and cannot be changed and cannot be influenced, and that denying natural immutable feelings is unhealthy to ones' psyche.

    Posted by: Francis | Jun 28, 2012 8:45:07 AM


  8. Is there a lot than can be done? Maybe revoke the medical licenses of the "psychologists" and "counselors" who advocate and participate in ex-gay therapy. But when it comes to things like finance, these groups are usually being bankrolled by conservative groups or rich self-hating gays to begin with. They are going to exist I think, regardless. But what can be done is continuing to highlight the fact these organizations are frauds, and basically prey on people insecure in their homosexuality. We need to highlight the reality these organizations promote lies, and we need to also highlight the fact being gay is NOT A CHOICE for most people and cannot be changed and cannot be influenced, and that denying natural immutable feelings is unhealthy to ones' psyche.

    Posted by: Francis | Jun 28, 2012 8:45:08 AM


  9. thanks Wayne AWESOME comment!!! Me to I am an atheist. Religion and ALL religions are bad for society!

    Posted by: Wyocowboy | Jun 28, 2012 8:50:40 AM


  10. I remember, years ago, attending a reparative therapeutic support group in Chicago.

    God! The sexual tension in that room each week, afterwards when we would go out to eat, and the special events, like birthdays, hosted in the homes of different members, was intense.

    We would greet each other with a BROTHERLY hug. Those hugs . . . wow! depending on the guy(s) lasted a little longer than what was appropriate for brothers. The throbbing, almost painful erections from those Christ-centered hugs, especially with this one guy, Chad.

    Chad was tall. He was unbelievably good looking. Not merely handsome, but striking! Perfect hair, perfect teeth, smile, skin, body, and packed a punch in the crunch, which he wrapped up each week in tight, crotch and a** hugging jeans. And he was smart, and he had a good job, was thriving in the city, with a killer apartment.

    Everybody wanted to hug Chad. I swear to God, it was like a line would form every week with guys who wanted to hug Chad.

    The intense sexual atmosphere in those reparative support group sessions were easily as intense as my eternal adolescent erections, or the first time someone touched my co*k, the first time I touched a co*k . . . and the first time I kissed a man, the first time I fraked a man . . . or the first time I went to a gay bar and found other men, just like me . . . and the first time I slow danced with a man (this was back in the '80's when the DJ periodically slowed things down) in a public man, and I was so fraking hard, and he was so fraking hard, and we ground our erections into each other, several times before the novelty of it worse off, to the point of an orgasm, all to some breathy Bee Gee's ballad.

    I never felt so intensely gay as when I attended those reparative group sessions for three years trying not to be gay . . . or sadder, more scared.

    We were a group of horny, unfilled men, who shared every week the self-loathing that never went away, no matter how faithful we were to our faith, because contradicting every word, every gesture, every good work, was the throbbing erection in my pants, the wet dreams that never went away, and the knowledge that deep down, no matter what I told myself and others, my only reason for trying to be something I was not was because I saw God as a cruel, omnipotent, bratty little boy who liked to pull the wings off of flies.

    So it was my fear of God, not my love of God that motivated me. On that basis I realized that I would be just as willing to worship and obey Satan if I thought he was the ruling power in the universe.

    How could I love or feel loved by a God that ruled only by fear?

    I could not, and since I could not, I was forced to either question his worthiness to be praised, glorified, and obeyed, or whether or not I, and everyone around me, had been attributing to God, in the name of God, things that were total rubbish.

    It is difficult asking tough questions, forcing one's self to think, and something most people hate and avoid . . . but always worthwhile.

    I do not claim to have all the answers to life, especially as they pertain to others, but this much I have learned, that the worst, most fearful aspects of God's nature have nothing to do with who God is, but with who people are.

    Posted by: Ricco | Jun 28, 2012 8:54:17 AM


  11. I apologize for the length of the above post, and the typos. I know I should take the time to proof-read my posts before submitting them . . . so I also apologize for my laziness.

    Posted by: Ricco | Jun 28, 2012 8:58:07 AM


  12. Just wanted to let people know that the photo accompanying this article comes from an action in St. Louis about 5 years ago protesting a "Love in Action" seminar. It is great to see this image used again.

    Posted by: Steve Houldsworth | Jun 28, 2012 10:18:55 AM


  13. RICCO, that was powerfully, pointedly and beautifully said, EXACTLY as it was!

    As for appropriate names for Chambers: Douchenozzle, Snake Oil Salesman, Sociopath, fool, liar, charlatan, closet case, confused. But above all, GAY, GAY, GAY!!!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jun 28, 2012 10:23:27 AM


  14. Heartbreaking. I can't imagine the level of shame it must take to bury oneself that deep in the closet. I hope this is just the start of him and others involved with Exodus working their way out-- for their sakes, and for the sakes of the women they often marry.

    Posted by: Mark | Jun 28, 2012 12:33:02 PM


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