The controversial ex-gay and anti-gay movement Exodus has closed down and its leader has sent an apology for all the hurt caused. The closing of Exodus International, the evangelical organization that once practised “reparative therapy” for gay Christians, with the apology of its president, Alan Chambers.
“I am sorry I didn’t stand up to people publicly ‘on my side’ who called you names,” Chambers said in an open letter addressed to the “LGBT community.” “I am sorry I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.” The statement announced the Exodus board’s unanimous decision to close its doors.
The move is certainly significant, and is no doubt intended to have a powerful symbolic effect. But the announcement is only the capstone of the rapid disappearance of the “ex-gay movement,” a constellation of evangelical ministries (and a few Jewish and Mormon offshoots) that embraced pseudoscientific therapies to change the sexual orientation of gay believers. The life was sucked out of Exodus by both the momentum of the gay-rights movement and the constant defections of people previously associated with the movement. But perhaps more than anything, it was Chambers himself who had had enough.
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