Facing a $6 million budget shortfall, Focus on the Family is shifting control of its Love Won Out conference to an outside organization.
Exodus International, a group that claims people can overcome unwanted same-sex attractions with the help of its ministry, announced Tuesday it will take control of the program starting in November.
“Exodus is the ideal organization to transition Love Won Out to,” said Melissa Fryrear, director of Love Won Out. She noted that Focus on the Family and Exodus have been closely aligned for years.
That move comes at this time in part, Fryrear said, because Focus on the Family’ income is down $6 million from what was expected for this year.
The shortfall was recently cited in an e-mail appeal to donors.
Alan Chambers, director of Exodus, said his group is financially equipped to take over Love Won Out, but the move was in the making for years. Focus on the Family planned to provide financial support by providing speakers and marketing assistance.
Wayne Besen, a gay activist whose organization, Truth Wins Out, decries so-called “ex-gay” therapy, said he was not surprised at the development. He noted that Exodus “has acted as an unofficial subsidiary of Focus on the Family” for years.
“Focus on the Family claims that they are facing a $6 million shortfall,” he said. “If they can eliminate a few positions due to this change, it will benefit their bottom line. This is especially true, because we suspect that Love Won Out is slowly losing support as gay people gain more acceptance each year.
The crowds appear smaller and the road show has received less media coverage than it has in the past.
“If they are downsizing, it is because the market for such misinformation has continued to shrink.”
But Chambers said Love Won Out was coming to Exodus in part so it could be operated by a more narrowly focused organization.