RELIGION • HOMOSEXUALITY

Cure for homosexuality’ admits failure … sort of

A decades-old, very well known organization held in precious respect by the religiously conservative admits their program does not work! When Alan Chambers, president of the organization, publicly stated this conclusion in June 2013, he included an apology for the damage that their program of “reparative therapy” had wreaked upon its participants during its 37 years of operation.

But it wasn’t admission of complete failure; Chambers cited many examples of people who have changed sexual orientation after coming into EI. He, apparently, is one of those.

Initially, after making the unexpected announcement, Chambers said that the organization would continue as a support source for those who were struggling with their homosexuality and needed a place that endorsed and encouraged their intent to change. Within days, however — after an outpouring of dissatisfied and damaged ex-participants spoke out vociferously and passionately — Chambers recanted and said the organization would shut down its operation completely.

Although psychologists and mental health experts have agreed for years that homosexuality is a genetic (thus natural) state — that it isn’t a disease or dysfunction and is not something that can or should be “cured” — conservative Christians have proudly pointed to Exodus International as proof that such change is possible. EI’s extinction will mean nothing to those folk, of course; they probably consider its demise to be the work of the devil.  There are other groups and programs, already in operation, that make the same attempts Exodus International did, many using the same damaging therapeutic tactics. Conservative Christianity’s programs of failure and damage will continue unabated.