Exodus International, lead “cure the gays” group, shuts down, apologizes to gays

This is rather huge in my world.  Exodus International, the lead religious right organization claiming that gays can be “cured” of their homosexuality, just closed up shop and issued an apology to the LGBT community.

I’m actually quite astounded.

The religious right hung its hate(e) on Exodus International a long time ago.  For years, their lead anti-gay political groups used the false notion that gays can be “cured” to stymie efforts to win full civil rights for gay people.

And now Exodus International is gone, and issuing a public apology in the name of its past leader, Alan Chambers:


The apology goes on, a lot longer.  And it’s not all good.  There’s far too much mention of how only “some” members of Exodus International hurt gay people.

No, you all did.

Then there’s this:

The good that we have done at Exodus is overshadowed by all of this.

Really, and what “good” would that be exactly?

All you need do is turn to the page on Exodus International’s Web site announcing that it’s shutting down, in order to see how half-hearted this apology really is:

“We’re not negating the ways God used Exodus to positively affect thousands of people, but a new generation of Christians is looking for change – and they want to be heard,” Tony Moore, Board member of Exodus.

Tony Moore can kiss my ass.

These people have been spreading lies for decades, treating people for something that can’t be treated, using false “cures,” giving false hope, and helping to feed the stigma of being gay, and the pain many felt. I got news for you – there is no “good.”  There are no thousands of people “positively affected,” unless you mean all the quack faux-scientists and religious right hate-mongers who have profited quite nicely from the climate of anti-gay hate that Exodus International helped buttress.  Yes, they all did quite well, thank you.  The rest of us, not so much.

Let me tell you about someone who wasn’t “positively affected.”  My cousin was disowned by his parents because he’s gay.  And what did his parents do when they first found out about their son?  They sent him some brochures from their priest, for an ex-gay ministry to “cure” him.  These people gave my cousins’ parents a false and hate-filled hope, they helped his parents hang on to a rationale for disowning their own son.  Where is the good in that, Alan? Tell me, where?

So spare me the excuses about how only “some” people caused harm.  And spare me the half-hearted apology about how a few bad apples overshadowed all of your “good ” work.

The only good that Exodus International ever did was shutting down.

And good riddance.

(H/t to Chris Geidner)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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100 Responses to “Exodus International, lead “cure the gays” group, shuts down, apologizes to gays”

  1. Arthur Borges says:

    beijos? off course!

  2. Jessica says:

    They aren’t actually shutting down. They are reopening as something else. It was all a marketing ploy. They will be calling themselves “Reduced Fear.” It is incredibly sneaky. I got the info from the link that @JimOlson:disqus posted above (great link by the way!)

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    Because the leaders of Exodus are quislings?

  4. Kerry says:

    I like your big words! please tell us more of you sciences! Can I subscribe to your news letter?

  5. timmmy says:

    why the fuck did you post a Nazi?

  6. Santos El Hopper says:

    National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) | Facebook?
    National Gay Pentecostal Alliance (NGPA)?

  7. kingstonbears says:

    NGPA? Sorry, never heard of it. But will check it out.

  8. Jim Olson says:

    John Shore gives a liberal Christian open-letter response to this, and does not pull any punches. http://johnshore.com/2013/06/20/who-would-suggest-that-exodus-internationals-apology-isnt-sincere/

  9. karmanot says:


  10. Duke Woolworth says:

    That photo has my gaydar beeping. And I’m straight!

  11. Sweetie says:

    Another NGPA translation (the other Leviticus passage): “And with a male thou shalt not lie down in beds of a woman; it is an

  12. Sweetie says:

    NGPA translation: “And a man who will lie down with a male in beds of a woman, both of them have made an abomination; dying they will die. Their blood is on them.”


  13. Thom Allen says:

    Carab00bie, Robertson, Frothy, and Bachmaniac respond to Chambers’ announcement:

  14. Thom Allen says:

    You misread what John wrote. “My cousin was disowned by his parents because he’s gay.” The parents then got brochures from their priest about conversion therapy.

  15. Anon says:

    Some organization sent your cousins’ parents a brochure and that caused him to be disowned? Not buying it…the issues between your cousin and his parents were much deeper than Exodus International.

  16. cole3244 says:

    no facts just bs, imo.

  17. Papa Bear says:

    they must be, considering all the religious experiences Rethugs have while praying at them…

  18. Luke says:

    While I agree with the article, I think they did another good thing by deciding to shut down just before the Supreme Court decision on DOMA and Prop 8. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

  19. karmanot says:

    But aren’t glory holes religious?

  20. karmanot says:

    Like the guy who walks into a working class bar and shouts, “I’m not gay. I’m straight,” then sits down, crosses his legs, orders a fabulous umbrella drink and talks about Jesus and baseball.

  21. karmanot says:

    I wouldn’t go so far as ‘intellect’, rather: facts used as decoration.

  22. karmanot says:

    Good one!

  23. kingstonbears says:

    Slightly off thread, or maybe not……


    For those who haven’t heard, Washington State passed both laws – gay marriage and legalized marijuana.

    The fact that gay marriage and marijuana were legalized on the same day makes perfect biblical sense because Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man lies with another man they should be stoned.”

    We just hadn’t interpreted it correctly!

  24. mirth says:

    Yeah, that’s the way I read him too. A changing world, and hanging onto his nonsense is his only lifeline. He probably isn’t self-aware enough to fully realize his stupidity, but he knows his time is done. He’ll find fewer and fewer people who believe as he does, about a lot of things, until finally they all die off.

  25. nicho says:

    When did you “choose” to NOT be gay?

    Every minute of every day. And he’s got the white knuckles to prove it. Not to mention the calluses on his knees from that times he “slips” every few months and visits a men’s room or a rest area.

  26. karmanot says:

    If you are still humming boy, you ain’t straight, now get the hell off my gay lawn.

  27. karmanot says:

    “the cost of health care rises because of gay marriage child
    production.. and the destruction of the family unit leading to higher
    crime rates, divorce rates and abuse.” OMG….that is hilarious. You poor twit. I suspect gay marriage leads to early tooth decay and old age.

  28. karmanot says:

    Is that why you became a priest?

  29. karmanot says:

    The study was conducted by The Saddleback Church funded by Mormon friends of Rick Warren.

  30. karmanot says:

    “found over 68% of orientation is a result of early childhood development and not generics..” Ah, you must be in (R) Dr. Michael Burgess group who think that gay fetuses masturbate causing trauma in the other twin, who turns straight because of it.
    Also, you are damn right about one thing: I chose to be gay and embrace an authentic identity as soon as I was able to understand it. And, I put it right in your face, bigot.

  31. karmanot says:

    The new trending for closet Moore’s is not eating a bag of dicks, but a truck load of Chic filet e’

  32. karmanot says:


  33. JamesR says:

    Yeah, sorry.

  34. BeccaM says:


  35. Naja pallida says:

    That seems to be the easiest conclusion. If someone believes it is a choice so vehemently that they have to go around the internet professing it, they must have some kind of evidence. The most conclusive evidence anyone could have is if they had made the “choice” themselves… and then they just can’t understand why others can’t also deny themselves, and be just as miserable. Hating oneself is a choice. Just not the one they think they’re making.

  36. samizdat says:

    “…you are filled with all sorts of debunked junk science.”

    And self-loathing, from what I can tell.

  37. Parm says:

    So Exodus International wasn’t a movement for bigots and homophobes to leave the civilized world? Just had a sad..

  38. Skeptical Cicada says:


  39. Skeptical Cicada says:

    And they should be…killed, imprisoned, rendered second-class citizens?

  40. Skeptical Cicada says:

    It’s not a lie. You’re just a moron. Gay marriage decreases health care costs, imbecile and has nothing to do with either crime or the inability of heterosexuals to stay together or stop beating their kids.

  41. Skeptical Cicada says:

    LOL!!! Nothing you’re claiming is remotely accurate. In fact, you’re just spouting 1960s-era nonsense that has been repeatedly debunked.

    Get a life. Bashing gays isn’t going to make your dick stop getting hard when you see a hot guy. Sorry, nut.

  42. Skeptical Cicada says:

    You’re assuming he’s straight. He’s more likely a self-hating closet case. Normal straight men don’t hang out at gay blogs ranting about sexual orientation.

  43. cole3244 says:

    bigotry disguised as intellect is still bigotry.

  44. Dee Snyder says:

    ah shut yer trap, fruity

  45. Skeptical Cicada says:

    You’re not gay by choice, and bashing other gays isn’t making your straight either.

  46. JamesR says:

    Yes, ‘May he choke on the bag of dicks he chows down on regularly in his closet’ would be more accurate.

  47. jomicur says:

    Statistics show that gay people are much more intelligent that straight bigots, dress better and take more fabulous vacations. So there.

  48. Sweetie says:

    Identical twins don’t have identical womb conditions. Your understanding of science is clearly rudimentary. Furthermore, conflating early childhood experience with choice is preposterous.

  49. JamesR says:

    Mmm Hmmm.

  50. jomicur says:

    That was my immediate thought. The “good” they did consisted of abundant nest-feathering. And isn’t that the American way?

  51. Sweetie says:

    It seems that it’s not just genetic, but a matter of genetic expression (activation of genes due to environmental conditions). That could explain why identical twins can have one homo twin and one hetero twin. Womb environment, though, is hardly a matter of “choice”, so the issue is mainly a matter of scientific trivia.

  52. pappyvet says:

    “Some” eh. Somehow oops just doesn’t cut it

  53. cole3244 says:

    being gay is genetic and can’t be changed but being a bigot is learned and should be changed, so organizations like this will be a thing of the past.

  54. PeteWa says:


  55. DrDignity says:

    Bravo, John! You said it all! Good riddance!

  56. Webster says:

    In this Universe–or in any other–there would not be an apology wide enough, deep enough, or broad enough to undo the incomprehensible damage this organization has done to innocent people throughout the years.

  57. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Sorry… I’m not interested in the opinions of ignorant people who have been duped by propaganda.

  58. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Generics? You mean, cheaper drugs?

  59. mark_in_toronto says:

    Then tell us . . . exactly when did you decide to be straight?
    I’m sure you weighed all the pros and cons and simply decided on a “straight lifestyle.”
    Sound ridiculous? That’s because it is.

  60. Phil says:

    OK, so we’re done with Exodus. The next chapter in the bible is Leviticus! And it’s already underway: http://www.restoredhopenetwork.com/

  61. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    He doesn’t even believe himself.

  62. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    How would health care not rise if they married someone of the opposite sex and had children?

  63. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Link? That’s the way to prove you’re not making up these statistics.

  64. olandp says:

    Evidently lying to yourself is A-OK!

  65. olandp says:

    Someone who chooses to be either gay or straight is bisexual, and has made a commitment, probably to another person, but can still be attracted to both sexes.

  66. Indigo says:

    U B way funny!

  67. Indigo says:

    Poor Alan, he never quite gets it. Now we have another creepy statement from Exodus rebranding itself in the light of a shifting public opinion. Alan’s a central Florida (Orlando area) resident, and it’s not easy to stay in the public eye around here. Redefining himself and his little teapot of a movement is about as significant as repainting the dining room. (Puce is nice, Alan. Nobody would criticize that.) So apology it is, although hardly sincere . . . as if anything said in the Exodus social context was ever sincere. There’s good work to do at Second Harvest on the west side of town, if he’s interested in local social service. (He isn’t.)

  68. olandp says:

    No, it didn’t. That study either doesn’t exist or you don’t know how to read it. There have only been three twin studies of homosexuality and none of them have shown this result.

  69. rmthunter says:

    I’d like to see a link or cite for that study. Who did it, what was the design, how were the respondents selected, where was it published, and maybe most important, given our recent experiences with Mark Regnerus’ New Family Structures study, who funded it?

  70. The Professor says:

    I’m with you. He should be in jail not doing interviews with Lisa Ling.

  71. Bj Lincoln says:

    Why is it when anti-gay forces say something the world pays attention but when millions of LGBT people say something over and over, it’s not believed?
    I believe I was born a lesbian. There are factors in my childhood that may have solidified the attraction to females but are not the reason.
    There are plenty of LGBT folks that never suffered any kind of abuse and there are a few who do choose to live as a gay person because of abuse but they will admit they are not gay. Why do we need an explanation? It will not change the way things are.
    If a person is lucky enough to find another person who they love and loves them back…who cares what gender they are?! When 2 people are willing to commit to building a life and maybe a family we should be happy for them and do what we can to help them succeed.
    That is what marriage is for. It is hard work to stay together through think and thin. Why make it harder by denying them the support? 9 years together, 8 years committed, and 3 years married. Each step and life’s events have made us stronger.
    I don’t care what people think or what some new study says about why I love my wife, I just do and I am willing to fight for all the support we can get to make it work.

  72. Allan H says:

    Here’s an interesting take on your little point Rob: how much of that choice was based on acceptance or denial of an inherent, existing mental or genetic predisposition? A lot of people turn straight, having previously been gay or bi. Does that mean they’ve suddenly stopped being gay, as though they could turn it off like a light? No, it predominantly means they’ve made a conscious choice to suppress their sexuality, for whatever reason. And likewise, a lot of people “turn” gay because they’ve finally accepted it as who they are. So the idea that it’s entirely the choice of the individual isn’t all that accurate. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I freely and happily accept that social influence is a major part of the equation. It’s just not the only one; it’s not even the first one. You’re born first, therefore your genetic make-up is created long before your social self is even able to develop. The choice to be gay, straight, bi, trans etc. is thus influenced by your social environment – family, friends, peer groups, the media et al – AND by your own genetic make-up. You’re born with a predisposition. What you do with it is the choice.

  73. SkippyFlipjack says:

    oh you didn’t mention the fact that Chambers is basically admitting that he’s gay and can’t do anything about it..

    There were several years that I conveniently omitted my ongoing same-sex attractions. I was afraid to share them as readily and easily as I do today. They brought me tremendous shame and I hid them in the hopes they would go away. Looking back, it seems so odd that I thought I could do something to make them stop. Today, however, I accept these feelings as parts of my life that will likely always be there.

  74. Sod off, Creep.

  75. SkippyFlipjack says:

    “For these reasons, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to close Exodus International and begin a separate ministry.” Why would the same cast of characters close up shop just to carry their furniture across the street to a new shop? Hmm..

  76. SkippyFlipjack says:

    If recent history of virulent anti-gay religious figures is any guide, Tony Moore probably finds the idea of eating a bag of dicks intriguing.

  77. Diane Phillipa says:

    The twins studies you mention have recently been solved why is one twin gay and the other not. Why is one twin xxxx and the other xxxxx. The recently genetic markers found in what was considered junk DNA has just opened the door to answering this very quesiton. It has been found that twins due their genetic markers are NOT identical. People are born gay just as they are born with blue eyes. The reason you argue the oppotiste is because you want a reason to point the finger and say you chose this becuase then you don’t have to face the reason why saying so is so important.

  78. Diane Phillipa says:

    You knew form a very early age your sexuality, it may have matured but its basically the same. No amount of argument, or abuse or any other factor is going to chage your sexuality. That is the reality for every single human being, you yourself are living proof of just that. Don’t speak for other people, you are filled with all sorts of debunked junk science. All of us here who are gay have had to put up with this kind of BS our whole lives. You are not even orginal just a our pouring of the crap we have had to put up with.

  79. BeccaM says:

    Take your bullshit elsewhere. Nobody is buying here.

  80. BeccaM says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Tony Moore can eat a bag of dicks. The damage he and his group did is outweighed by… nothing. They ‘helped’ no one.

    May their karma follow them through their next hundred incarnations — and it still won’t be enough.

  81. Bill_Perdue says:

    Sorry won’t cut it. He helped murder people and destroy the lives of others.

    It’s as pathetic and wasted as the apologies and rebranding of Obama, the Clintons and even a few Republicans.

  82. mwestport says:

    Blah Blah Blah. Sucks to be you. Go away. No one wants you out dated BS here.

  83. Rob says:

    12% of the gay population int his study were contributed to genetics in this study..

  84. Rob says:


  85. Rob says:

    The biggest thing I do not like is the LIE that gay people are born that way.. I don’t like anyone Lying to anyone.. and it is my business when the cost of health care rises because of gay marriage child production.. and the destruction of the family unit leading to higher crime rates, divorce rates and abuse.

  86. Rob says:

    Sorry.. there were lots of influences in my life that took me in my direction.. The relationship with my parents, my parents belief systems, my access to porn at an early age, my friendships, the attraction towards me by others. of the 68% that were not born that way, early sexual involvement, either negative or positive in experience was to attribute to the choice made.. Abuse is another key factor.. less than 12% of gay people were “born” that way – and that conclusion was done by genetic measurements and that both twines had the same orientation

  87. Max_1 says:

    When did you “choose” to NOT be gay?

    If sexuality is a choice for humans, then you too, HAD to “choose” at some point in your life…

    “Baby I was born that way…”


  88. Monoceros Forth says:

    Most gay people are gay by choice.
    Whatever. Still doesn’t make it any of your goddamn business.

  89. JamesR says:

    How long have you been ex-gay?

  90. PeteWa says:

    thank god it’s not the ‘fault’ of generics!

  91. PeteWa says:

    “Tony Moore can kiss my ass.”

    and eat a bowl of broken glass.

  92. JamesR says:

    Cowardly, inadequate. I read the whole Chambers ‘apology’ and edited my comment.

    If what they said is WRONG, what is it? Albeit their understanding of our religious tradition is shallow, to be charitable, but as they represent that they need to offer up the corrective interpretation, not just a personal bug out because they personally feel shamed, guilty or overwhelmed.

    Or, yes, they will slink elsewhere to set up the same tent.

  93. Rob says:

    Sorry.. Most gay people are gay by choice.. (see study on sexual orientation done on 7600 identical twins).. largest study ever conducted .. found over 68% of orientation is a result of early childhood development and not generics..

  94. Sweetie says:

    Moving to Uganda? Or, does Exxon need some politician sweetening-up elsewhere?

  95. FLL says:

    Stupid non-apology, but the real news is that Exodus International is was the big player. That doesn’t really leave many other “ex-gay” groups of note.

  96. Jim Olson says:

    Yeah, they’re not gone. Just give it time…the same players will pop up somewhere else.

  97. JamesR says:

    Nothing about this is a real apology, it’s a downsizing and re-branding.

  98. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Apology not accepted. Drop dead, bigot.

  99. nicho says:

    Well, it made a lot of money for the frauds who ran it. So it wasn’t a total loss. /snark

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