Exodus issues additional statement regarding criminalization and Dennis Jernigan in Jamaica

Been traveling so this is just now going up:

Exodus International Releases New Policy Statement On the Criminalization of Homosexuality

Ministry responds to Christian Music Artist and Exodus Board Member, Dennis Jernigan’s Remarks in Kingston, Jamaica

Orlando, Fla—Exodus International, the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with homosexuality, released a new policy statement on the criminalization of homosexuality. While the ministry has long held this perspective, they felt compelled to release a written statement in light of Exodus Board Vice Chairman, Dennis Jernigan’s, comments to the media in Kingston, Jamaica. Exodus board member, Don Schmierer, experienced a similar collision with the media on a trip to Uganda in 2009.

“Dennis Jernigan recently traveled to Jamaica to share his testimony and lead worship at a number of venues,” said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus. “While there he was thrust into a media firestorm and asked to comment on President Obama’s threat to issue sanctions against Jamaica for their laws concerning the criminalization of homosexuality.

“Dennis shared his belief that President Obama is deceived about homosexual behavior and the biblical morality of it. Dennis assured me he is not for the criminalization of homosexuality, and he will release his own statement on this matter. However, Jernigan offered this immediate response ”:

“I believe my heart and intent were misconstrued and therefore, may have harmed Exodus’ mission of ministering to those struggling with same-sex attraction (SSA). To that end, as of this moment, I step down as Vice Chairman of Exodus.”

Here is an excerpt of the Exodus policy statement, also supported by its Board of Directors.

We will not support any legislation that deprives others of life and dignity based on their sexual orientation or the expression of such within the confines of a consensual adult relationship. Finally, we stand with the LGBT community both in spirit, and when necessary, legally and physically, when violence rears it’s head in Uganda, Jamaica or anywhere else in the world.

Chambers is working with the Exodus International Board and staff to craft strong statements, policies and procedures that will ensure their position on life-impacting issues such as this one.

“It is our resolution that unfortunate incidents like this do not happen again in the future,” said Chambers. “As president of Exodus International I take full responsibility for any board member, staff member or ministry affiliate’s ignorance of global issues, especially as they travel. I will make it a priority to keep all who are professionally affiliated with Exodus apprised of the nations where legislative initiatives or laws clearly violate our policy opposing criminalization of homosexuality. We will also craft a policy for our ministry that prohibits our involvement with groups and nations that violate our policies.”

Print Friendly

  • Michael Bussee

    Dennis Jernigan’s resignation is regrettable, but was totally preventable. I am still curious as to why Alan Chambers didn’t make this resolution 3 years ago, immediately after the situation in Uganda. In any event, if Alan Chambers does what he has promised above, this won’t happen again. I think his statement is laudible even though it is late.

  • StraightGrandmother

    He may not have resigned the Board entirely, it says that he is stepping down as vice-chairman. Beyond that we don’t know. He could just be busted down a rank to regular board member.

  • Boo

    Michael Bussee- Because at Exodus they focus on Holiness, not Correcting Their Mistakes.

  • Michael Bussee

    When Jerginan finally speaks up about this, I hope that he will speak directly to the Jamaican press to denounce criminalization and to voice strong opposition to Past Garth’s extreme anti-gay views.

    “Garth said he examines the homosexual issue from a moral, biblical, medical and social point of view.

    “I take off my religious hat and put on my psychology training hat where I deal with these matters because I am not only going to be pushing scriptures,” he said.

    Garth said the Church has to be passionate in its fight against homosexuality when it examines the proclamation of the homosexual manifesto which was entered into the US Congressional Record on February 15, 1987, and which reads in part:

    “We shall sodomise your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theatre bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together.

    “Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us…. All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men.

    “All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically, and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy.

    “If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies.”

    According to Garth, the gay community has been instructed to talk about gays as loudly as possible and to portray them as victims, not as aggressive challengers and to make them look good and the people opposed to them look bad.

    As such, Garth said the Church is trying to influence others to look at the structure which provides value for our nation.

    A former member of the gay community, Rev Dennis Jernigan, said that community has all the creative, financial and intellectual power.

    According to Jernigan, an American citizen, the gay community gives more than the 10 per cent tithe that Christians give to the church, as they are very adamant about their agenda.”

    Apparently, Jernigan sat in silence and raised no objection while Rev. Garth said these things, much as Don Schmierer did in Kampala while Scott Lively was making similar claims about LGBT people and their “agenda”.

    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Group-braces-for-costly-fight-against-gays_11518361#ixzz1xvjNEFhn

  • Iain

    Boo said:

    Michael Bussee- Because at Exodus they focus on Holiness, not Correcting Their Mistakes.

    Isn’t that one and the same thing, Boo?

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    He may not have resigned the Board entirely, it says that he is stepping down as vice-chairman. Beyond that we don’t know. He could just be busted down a rank to regular board member.

    He resigned completely from the board.  We (XGW) verified that with Chambers.

  • Michael Bussee

    “Jernigan also spoke with reporters alongside local anti-gay activist Peter Garth, who read out portions of a 1987 satire by Michael Swift, titled “A Gay Revolutionary,” which the more extreme anti-gay activists often mis-identify as “the gay agenda.”

    The satire begins, “We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies….” (The satire labels itself as a satire in the prologue, which is typically omitted when deployed by anti-gay extremists.)

    Following that partial reading, Jernigan, who identifies as ex-gay, said, “If I was still in that group and was still a part of that agenda, of course I would take that as my battle cry and I would do everything in my power to bring it to pass.” ~ Jim Burroway

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2012/06/15/45818

  • Carol A Ranney

    “…homosexual manifesto which was entered into the US Congressional Record on February 15, 1987″ Can someone please enlighten me on what this idiocy is all about?

  • Boo

    Carol- It was a parody someone wrote up in a gay newspaper decades ago under the psuedonym “Michael Swift.” The name is an allusion to Johnathan Swift, as the essay is essentially an updating of Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” A congressman actually did read it into the Congressional Record once, but by some amazing coincidence, forgot to read the opening sentences, which explicitly identified the piece as parody. Anti-gay activists still like to trot it out from time to time as though it were real.

  • Michael Bussee

    “If I was still in that group and was still a part of that agenda, of course I would take that as my battle cry and I would do everything in my power to bring it to pass.”

    So he’s saying that when he was gay he subscribed to the silly nonsense in Michael Swift’s satire? Is he serious? Or is he just exaggerating to make ex-gay look good and gay look crazy?

    Real soon, Jernigan needs to explain his comments about Pastor Garth’s reading of the “gay agenda” and his failure to speak out against criminalization when he had the chance — in front of those 30 reporters.

    The Jamaican Press and the LGBT community deserve a full explanation, a retraction and an apology. Simply resigning from the Board doesn’t set the record straight.

  • ken

    Michael Bussee says:

    June 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    “Simply resigning from the Board doesn’t set the record straight.”

    Actually, it can distort it even more. Since most who believe in what he said will just say he was forced out for speaking about what he really believes.

  • Ann

    Happy Father’s Day Michael and Dr. Throckmorton!

  • Michael Bussee

    Thanks, Ann. Contrary to what groups like Exodus and NARTH would have us believe, most gays I talk to had caring and supportive fathers. They didn’t “cause” us to be gay.

    Granted, some of them had a hard time knowing how to relate to a gay son, but overall our Dads seem pretty much like everyone elses — loving, strong, fallible, human.

    On this day to honor Fathers, I want to say, “Thanks, Dad, for teaching me to be a man. Thanks for your love, hard-work and sacrifice. I hope I have made you proud. I love you and I miss you.”

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren Throckmorton

    Thanks Ann!

  • Ananias

    I think it is tragic that Jernigan’s Christian love was misconstrued. I can relate. The same thing happened to me!

    I have a niece, a lovely girl whom I love dearly. I always show her how much I love her by telling the whole family that her very presence in the house is a corrupting, putrefying evil. Last Thanksgiving, I passed out pamphlets proving with gossip that she is a Nazi. I spend a good deal of my income on TV and radio ads denouncing her as a threat to faith, family and freedom. And for some reason, I constantly find myself musing about how great it would be if only we could imprison her or perhaps contain her in an open field behind an electrified fence.

    Sadly, all of my Christlike efforts have been terribly misconstrued. Her mom and dad even had the audacity to suggest that I hate my own niece. They are unchurched and thus do not understand the true love of a Christian. Like Jernigan does.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    @Ananias – you know what most Trans children hear from their parents?

    “Why couldn’t you just be Gay?”

    The average age homeless Trans children are ejected from their homes: 13 1/2.

  • Suze

    @Zoe:

    Your constant campaign to transjack every discussion is useful inasmuch as it demonstrates both the inherent predatory selfishness of trans activists (even trans poseurs like yourself) and the the foolishness of attempting to merge LGB and T. Gay people do not have to apologize for talking about gay issues. Not to you. Not to anyone. The day “LGBT” dies will be a great day for gay people.

  • Michael Bussee

    For the record, Mr. Jernigan is still listed as Exodus Vice-Chairman on the Exodus website. Since this incident, he has issued no public apology or explanation and it seems like there has been no retraction in the Jamaican press.

    http://exodusinternational.org/about-us/board-of-directors/

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Suze’s words say more about the situation than I ever could.

  • Boo

    I think Ananias was poe’ing us. Suze was probably serious however.

  • Michael Bussee

    UPDATE: Dennis Jernigan has posted the following about his recent trip to Jamaica:

    “On my recent trip to Jamaica I never intended to imply I agreed with the laws there that criminalize homosexual behavior. I wholeheartedly agree with Exodus’ position on the criminalization of sexual behavior between consulting adults.”

    Too bad he didn’t say exactly that in front of the 30 Jamaican journalists when he had the chance. His fans may now know this, but is he going to contact the Jamiacan Press directly to issue this clairification — or is he just going to wait it out and hope they pick it up throught the grapevine?

    Most importantly, Jernigan does not denounce Pastor Garth’s extreme anti-gays beliefs that gay’s have an “agenda” to “sodomise your sons…seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms…[so that they] become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us…. All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked…”

    About this, Jernigan does not explain what he meant when he said: ““If I was still in that group and was still a part of that agenda, of course I would take that as my battle cry and I would do everything in my power to bring it to pass.”

    I think he still has a lot of work to do to explain his remarks — and more importantly his silence — as Pastor Garth painted the lurid picture of a “gay agenda” of hoardes of child-molesting gays bent of destroying the family and society. He needs to clarify all these things with the Jamaican Press — not just post some comments on his blog and hope this all goes away…

    P.S. Jernigan is still listed as Exodus Vice-Chairamn even though he says he is resigned.

    http://www.dennisjernigan.com/news/1709-june-18-2012-newsletter

    http://exodusinternational.org/about-us/board-of-directors/

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ Jarred

    @Suze: You and I clearly have differing ideas on what will be “a great day for gay people.” Personally, I think it’s a great day for gay people when we — both collectively and individually — look at our tendency to ignore, invisibilize, and even justify the harsh treatment that trans* people and seek to quit doing to them the same sorts of things others have done to us.

    In all seriousness, the fact that you can both criticize Zoe for talking about the issues most important to her while defending gay people for ignoring trans* issues in the name of focusing on gay issues because they’re gay in a single comment suggests that maybe you should be careful who you accuse of being selfish, “predatorily” or otherwise.

  • Michael Bussee

    Alan Chambers says: “I will make it a priority to keep all who are professionally affiliated with Exodus apprised of the nations where legislative initiatives or laws clearly violate our policy opposing criminalization of homosexuality. We will also craft a policy for our ministry that prohibits our involvement with groups and nations that violate our policies.”

    I did a little checking and found that Exodus has afilliates in an least two countries that criminalize homosexuality:

    GUYANA

    Operation Restoration

    Directors: Jennifer Paulette Flatts, Phyllis Joyce Jordan

    Address: 77 Canje Street, Section “K”, Campbellville, Georgetown, Guyana

    Phone number: +592-227-8444

    Email: operationrestoration@yahoo.co.uk

    JAMAICA

    WIRED Counselling Agency

    Director: Craig McNally

    Address: P.O. BOX 5179, Kingston 6, Jamaica

    Phone: (876) 867-8343

    Website: http://www.wiredjamaica.org/

  • Michael Bussee

    “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Guyana face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT citizens. Guyana is the only country in South America where same-sex sexual activity is still illegal.

    According to the penal code of Guyana, “gross indecency” committed by a man upon another man, either in public or private, will be punished with imprisonment for up to 2 years. For attempted anal sex (“buggery”) the punishment is 10 years, and for anal sex, imprisonment for life is possible.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Guyana

  • Michael Bussee

    “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in Jamaica are dominated by the prohibition of sexual acts between men… Jamaica has been described by human-rights groups as the most homophobic place on earth due to the hate speech and bias motivated crimes often directed at LGBT people.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Jamaica