Updated at 7 p.m.
Ex-Gay Watch reports that Orlando, Fla.-based Exodus International has laid off two of its ex-gay outreach workers: Exodus Youth “analyst” Mike Ensley and bookstore manager Chris Stump.
Stump had only recently replaced the outgoing Kevin White in that position. It appears the move came just days ago, made necessary due to a serious reduction of donations being received by the ex-gay referral organization.
It comes as no surprise that Exodus is having budget concerns. The current world-wide economic crisis has hurt even large, well managed non-profits like Focus on the Family. Exodus may have made things worse for themselves, however, with the addition of a million-dollar mortgage for the new building they purchased last spring ‚Äî bad timing to say the least. Exodus had previously leased a modest set of offices in Orlando but claimed in a newsletter that they were cramped and needed room for new staff.
Truth Wins Out has criticized some of Ensley’s anti-youth and anti-family commentaries. But most of these commentaries occurred in official Exodus and Focus on the Family publications that are edited and approved by top management. In other words, it’s his editors — not Ensley — who should be laid off or accept salary reductions if times are difficult.
The layoffs leave Exodus with a staff a bit more heavily weighted toward fund-raising and political lobbying instead of outreach to would-be ex-gays and their families.
I soon expect to hear that Exodus is subletting its overpriced and oversized office space — if they aren’t doing so, already.
Perhaps Exodus will one day become the new Kmart-Sears: a real-estate company that pretends to be a merchant of dime-store quality merchandise and suburban pop culture.