President of Group That Used to ‘Pray Away the Gay’ Apologizes to LGBTQ Community

Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, a Christian ministry that, until last year, said they could “pray away the gay,” has issued a formal apology today to all the members of the LGBTQ community who have been hurt by his organization:

Never in a million years would I intentionally hurt another person. Yet, here I sit having hurt so many by failing to acknowledge the pain some affiliated with Exodus International caused, and by failing to share the whole truth about my own story. My good intentions matter very little and fail to diminish the pain and hurt others have experienced on my watch. The good that we have done at Exodus is overshadowed by all of this.

Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite — or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.

Wow… good for him. It doesn’t undo the damage, but it’s still a step forward. The bigger question now is whether anyone will actually accept it. It’s hard to imagine conservative Christians are going to look upon Chambers kindly, and I don’t think the LGBTQ crowd is about to throw a party for the guy anytime soon.

Chambers’ written apology comes a day before a spoken one will appear on “Our America with Lisa Ling.”

(Thanks to Alan for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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