The Exodus Global Alliance hosted a conference of antigay religious groups in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday. The conference accused all sexually honest, same-sex-attracted persons of being sexually “broken.” Exodus declared that homosexuality is “unwanted,” and it contended that sexually honest, openly gay persons are required to lead what Exodus calls “the homosexual lifestyle.”
According to PinkPaper.com, the conference planned to promote “reparative therapy [to] communicate the message of liberation from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.”
The church hosting the conference dismisses its same-sex-attracted parishioners as “sexually confused.” Organizer Shirley Basket told the Melbourne Herald Sun that her ex-gay path was “the right path” for everyone. And, that in order to choose Jesus, gay people must combat their sexual orientation.
Equality advocates countered the conference, declaring that it is immoral to offer false promises of sexual conversion and to promote prejudice toward LGBT family and church members.
“You can’t choose to become straight just because your religious leaders tell you that homosexuality is a sin,” Melbourne equality advocate Tim Wright told the Sydney Star-Observer. “Churches need to be teaching their gay and lesbian members to be proud of who they are, not ashamed. This conference will only cause more pain and anguish for the participants, not help them…Our message to participants is: if your church rejects you because of your sexuality, you should reject your church. Closets are for clothes, not people.”
In Australia, several religious communities including the Uniting Church welcome LGBT people of faith unconditionally.
In the United States, Exodus International spokesman Randy Thomas falsely claimed that the Australia conference is “there to speak with and minister to those seeking their advice and opinion on how to live with same sex attractions in congruence with their faith.” Not true: Exodus coaches conference attendees not only to deny their attractions, but also to reject Christian faith perspectives that accept the attractions or permit expression of those attractions.
Thomas sidesteps Exodus’ affirmation of Australia’s law against marriage for gay couples.
Earlier last week, Australian former ex-gay Anthony Venn-Brown discussed the pressure that Exodus and similar organizations place upon ex-gays to enter doomed heterosexual marriages. Here’s video of Venn-Brown’s reflections:
Australia’s national breakfast show, Channel 7’s Sunrise
Sydney Morning Herald’s Sexperts