The Politics of the Ex-Gay Movement

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ALAN CHAMBERS, the President of Exodus International, a group claiming to change the sexual orientation of homosexuals, sunk in his chair and squirmed as the camera closed in on his crinkled face. There was a quick cutaway to the audience where his fidgety wife, Leslie, looked as if she wanted to run to the nearest fire exit. Sensing the kill, talk show host Montel Williams asked Chambers if his organization could “change” homosexuals into heterosexuals.

“We don’t have the ability to change anyone,” Chambers said, stumbling into the carefully set trap. Montel pounced, showing a policy statement on Chambers’ own website that claimed to “liberate” people from homosexuality. “If we liberate Iraq, we have changed Iraq,” Montel scornfully lectured Chambers, who wilted under the scrutiny. Realizing he had tripped over his web of deceit, the ex-gay leader muttered that if Exodus did say it liberated gay people, it was something that he believed should come off the group’s website.

It is important to note that Exodus not only promises liberation, it also offers desperate and vulnerable gay people the “freedom to grow into heterosexuality” and “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.”

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