Exodus International, which was the world’s largest gay-homosexual reversal organization; has closed its doors after 37 years. This closure is a major victory for the LGBT community. In recent years, organizations like Exodus International which claim they can “cure homosexuality” and “turn men towards a heterosexual lifestyle” have come under fire for their promotion of the view that homosexuality is reversible, as well as something that warrants reversing.
In a heartfelt open letter, Exodus International president, Alan Chambers publicly apologized to all that he has shamed or hurt through his organization. Chambers also admits in the letter that he still has homosexual urges, which implies that Exodus International failed to remove him of his homosexuality.
The letter comes off as sincere, but only lightly touches on a number of incidents within the program which deserve more investigation – possibly from police. Chambers mentions incidents of sexual misconduct, suicide, hate speech, and forcible ends to relationships.
Chambers writes near the end of the letter, “(Homosexuals) have never been my enemy. I am very sorry that I have been yours. I hope the changes in my own life, as well as the ones we announce tonight regarding Exodus International, will bring resolution, and show that I am serious in both my regret and my offer of friendship”.
The organizations closure is a major step towards reforming the Christian view towards homosexuals, but the apology itself may be too little, too late for the thousands of men who have suffered from their experiences at Exodus International since 1976.
Yesterday, the Exodus International Board of Directors voted to close the program’s 270 ministries across the globe. These centers will soon be converted into more generalized church programs aiming to reduce fear, and encourage a more accepting environment within the Christian faith.
It’s ironic that such a heartfelt letter could impose feelings of anger and disgust in the reader. Alan Chambers truly does seem sorry, but in apologizing, he has also released horrifying details regarding the centers he operated. If Chambers actively oversaw and allowed abuse to take place at Exodus International, then legal recourse should be taken against him.