GayNZ.com has added the ex-gay movement to New Zealand’s list of endangered species.
Following the failure of several organizations, the web site reports, “Auckland’s Exodus houses the only ‘exgay’ outfit in New Zealand. It has no newsletter, no website, and apparently restricts itself to elderly conservative religious gay men who experience sexual identity crises.”
Former Exodus International leader Sy Rogers still resides in the western Pacific island nation, but apparently spends much time marketing conservative-Christian pop music and inflicting sex-and-gender ambiguity and confusion onto innocents in Malaysia. (Watching Rogers and Exodus’ Randy Thomas pose as experts on masculinity is about as convincing as the notion of Gwen Stefani or Pink posing as Amish Christian homemakers.)
In effect, the exgay movement has failed largely because the New Zealand Christian Right has remained stubbornly unable or unwilling to develop counselling or psychotherapeutic skills. Most mainstream New Zealanders accept that sexual orientation constitutes a durable source of social identity and cannot easily be changed. These organisations have dwindled in the face of growing lesbian and gay community organisation, assertion and social inclusion, leading to exgay ‘enclavism,’ largely restricted to individuals who have lived most of their lives in fundamentalist social networks, isolated from mainstream New Zealand society.
Exodus International clearly senses that this grim future is on the horizon back in the United States — which is why the organization has smartly sidelined support to its member ex-gay ministries in favor of a focus on political networking among prejudiced antigay churches and religious-right organizations.