World's oldest ex-gay ministry shuts down as president apologizes for the damage done

Categories: GLBT
Chambers: "I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives."
Exodus International, the county's oldest, largest, and best-known Christian ministry devoted to the sort of "reparative" ex-gay counseling made famous by Marcus Bachmann's Bachmann & Associates, suddenly shut down this week.

FROM LAST YEAR: Exodus International, anti-gay Christian group, distancing itself from ex-gay therapy

The organization's president, Alan Chambers, announced the organization's dissolution in a remarkable letter where he apologized "to the people that have been hurt by Exodus International through an experience or by a message."

"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," Chambers writes. "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."

Chambers, who in his letter acknowledges that while he is married to a woman, homosexual urges are a part of his life "that will likely always be there," plans to start a new ministry devoted to helping churches "become safe, welcoming, and mutually transforming communities," Gawker reports.

To read the full text of Chambers's apology, click to page two.

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