‘Ex-Gay’ Poster Boy John Paulk Apologizes for the Pain and Harm He Caused at Focus on the Family

John Paulk, the longtime leader of Focus on the Family's 'Love Won Out' 'ex-gay' ministry and former Exodus International chair has apologized for the pain and harm he caused. Paulk recently said he no longer supports the "ex-gay" movement but this is his first real apology.

PaulkSays Paulk in a post on Skipping to the Piccolo, in part:

Please allow me to be clear: I do not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation; in fact, it does great harm to many people.

I know that countless people were harmed by things I said and did in the past,

Parents, families, and their loved ones were negatively impacted by the notion of reparative therapy and the message of change. I am truly, truly sorry for the pain I have caused.

From the bottom of my heart I wish I could take back my words and actions that caused anger, depression, guilt and hopelessness. In their place I want to extend love, hope, tenderness, joy and the truth that gay people are loved by God.

Today, I see LGBT people for who they are–beloved, cherished children of God. I offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology to men, women, and especially children and teens who felt unlovable, unworthy, shamed or thrown away by God or the church.

I want to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who encouraged me to take this initial step of transparency. Even while promoting “ex-gay” programs, there were those who called me on my own words and actions. I’m sure I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but they have helped me to realize this truth about who I am.