“You have never been my enemy,” wrote Alan Chambers, head of the ex-gay group Exodus International, in an apology to the gay men and women his group has harmed over the years. “I am very sorry that I have been yours.”
Woah — maybe there is a God. Chambers issued the apology in advance of an appearance on the OWN network with Lisa Ling as part of series she hosts called “God & Gays.” Not long after Chambers issued his apology, Exodus — the best known the best-known group among organizations that sell the idea that homosexuality can be cured by prayer and other means it labeled “reparative therapy” — announced that it is going out of the business of curing gays while continuing to pursue a right-wing Christian agenda.
Here’s an excerpt of Chambers’ apology:
I have begun thinking again about how to apologize to the people that have been hurt by Exodus International through an experience or by a message. I have heard many firsthand stories from people called ex-gay survivors. Stories of people who went to Exodus affiliated ministries or ministers for help only to experience more trauma. I have heard stories of shame, sexual misconduct, and false hope. In every case that has been brought to my attention, there has been swift action resulting in the removal of these leaders and/or their organizations. But rarely was there an apology or a public acknowledgement by me…
…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.
Hey, it’s a start.