Despite its admission this year that almost no one affiliated with Exodus International has ever successfully changed their sexual orientation, the ex-gay umbrella network continues its Love Won Out roadshow.
Increasingly targeted at antigay relatives instead of exgay-wannabes, LWO still promises to tell parents and siblings the “truth” that honesty about one’s orientation is sinful, and that same-sex-attracted persons should refrain from identifying their homosexual or bisexual orientation. LWO also promises relatives that their gay loved ones can — like the on-stage role models — marry the opposite gender, have kids, and masquerade as heterosexual couples the way God intended.
Or, we are told, people who “struggle” with homosexuality can wait patiently, singly, to be “transformed by God’s amazing grace” — no, change is not possible, but yes, it is possible!
As in the past, Exodus LWO speakers appear to be opposed to certain Christian gospel values: They instead emphasize values of shame, denial, legalism, and conditional love.
- Grace, non-judgment, and acknowledgment of bigotry as a sin are absent from the theology of Exodus board member and author Joe Dallas, who with Nancy Heche writes books blaming parents, liberal Christians, and non-existent childhood abusers for the supposed development of homosexuality in childhood.
- High school mentor coordinator Julie Rodgers teaches families that their gay loved ones are broken, inadequate, and incomplete.
- Moody Bible Institute teacher Christopher Yuan equates his homosexuality with his past drug-dealing. His parents blame their son’s homosexuality, not their own bigotry or the son’s past drug-dealing, for family heartache.
The conference Q&A claims not to “cure” gays, but rather to “transform” them so that they “overcome” same-sex attractions. Instead of explaining what sexual orientation really is, the conference postulates “the many factors that can lead to someone adopting a homosexual identity” — implying that orientation is merely a label rather than an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and sexual attraction to one or both genders. The conference misquotes the American Psychiatric Association, whose definition of orientation and opposition to ex-gay mythology are clear. And regarding whether the Christian God loves homosexuals, Exodus sidesteps critics who have condemned the organization for teaching that sexual honesty is one of the worst ways to disappoint God.
For an offering of just $65, you or a family member may observe 10 hours of stereotypes, disappointment, shame, butchered Bible verses, conformity, and mangled mental-health advice. Interested? Register here for the Sept. 22, 2012, roadshow in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where a House bill earlier this year would have amended the state constitution to not only ban marriage equality, but also nullify cities’ existing and future domestic partnership laws.
Or, for a better use of your time, support Equality Pennsylvania‘s efforts to affirm religious freedom by countering antigay prejudice, violence, and discrimination.