Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead!


ExodusNo pulling of punches on this one: Exodus International has just announced that the group is closing its doors forever, and we rejoice.

For years E.I.’s mission has been to hound and humiliate gay and lesbian people by claiming that they could be “cured” of their sexual orientation, and they’ve inflicted snake-oil “treatments” on thousands of mostly young GLBT people to achieve this spurious end. But now the organization is voluntarily committing suicide – not because it’s bankrupt or mired in any new scandal (though there have been plenty of those in the past), but because they’ve come to realize that their mission is fundamentally misbegotten, based on a phony premise, counterfeit.

In a statement released on Thursday, E.I. president Alan Chambers actually apologized to the gay community “for years of undue suffering and judgment at the hands of the organization and the church as a whole.” The big break came last year when Chambers essentially renounced his organization’s central tenet by admitting that “reparative therapy” has never succeeded in changing anyone’s sexual orientation, while conceding that the attempt to do so was misguided and wrong. This development was covered in an earlier BTW.

The Exodus organization languished for a while longer on the pretext of helping gay individuals to live as Christians while coping with their unwanted sexual desires. But now even that fig leaf of legitimacy has been dropped, and with it any lingering belief that sexual orientation can be changed through behavioral therapy. Religious convictions, it would seem, can be adopted or shed, but sexual orientation is here to stay.