HRC Blog

Exodus International Head Acknowledges “Reparative Therapy” Doesn’t Work

​Post submitted by Charlie Joughin, HRC Press Secretary

Alan Chambers is the president of Exodus International, an organization that for years has advocated for so-called reparative therapy, claiming that a person can essentially “pray away the gay.”  The group claims its ministries helped tens of thousands of people vanquish unwanted homosexual urges.

Recently, however, Chambers and the folks at Exodus International have changed their tune, now backing away from the ex-gay movement.  In an article for the New York Times, Erik Eckholm discusses Chambers’ new views.  Here are a few noteworthy excerpts:

“Mr. Chambers amplified on the views that have stirred so much controversy. He said that virtually every “ex-gay” he has ever met still harbors homosexual cravings, himself included.”

“He said Exodus could no longer condone reparative therapy, which blames homosexuality on emotional scars in childhood and claims to reshape the psyche. And in a theological departure that has caused the sharpest reaction from conservative pastors, Mr. Chambers said he believed that those who persist in homosexual behavior could still be saved by Christ and go to heaven.”

In the same article, others from the ex-gay movement condemn Chambers’ change of heart.

“I think Mr. Chambers is tired of his own personal struggles, so he’s making excuses for them by making sweeping generalizations about others,” said Gregg Quinlan, a conservative lobbyist in New Jersey and president of a support group called Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays.”

In case you were wondering, every major medical organization in the United States condemns the use of reparative therapy.  And while Exodus may have turned over a new leaf regarding reparative therapy, it's still very much an anti-gay organization which refers to itself as "refuge for people looking for help in their journey out of homosexuality."

Check out this interview with Alan Chambers (who used to be gay) on MSNBC’s Hardball yesterday, where he acknowledges “I have same-sex attractions.”

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