OKC Talk Comes As Largest ‘Ex-Gay’ Group, Exodus International, Closes Its Doors; New ‘Ex-Gay’ Organization to Launch in OKC Today To Replace Exodus
Burlington, Vt. – Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen will give a major address this evening in Oklahoma City titled, “The Rise and Fall of the Ex-Gay Myth.” His talk comes one day after Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, said he will close his group’s doors because “pray away the gay” programs don’t work. Exodus was founded in 1976 in Anaheim, California with the goal of helping LGBT people go straight through prayer and therapy.
“The closing of Exodus is an earthquake that is shaking the very foundations of the ‘ex-gay’ industry,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We feel vindicated with our efforts to expose these groups and reveal their great destruction. Although new groups are vying to fill the vacuum, the passing of Exodus casts a huge shadow of doubt on their work and cuts right to the heart of their credibility.”
What: “The Rise and Fall of the Ex-Gay Myth”
Where: Cimarron Alliance Equality Center
5613 N May Ave, Suite 400
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
When: Thursday, June 20
Who: Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out Executive Director and author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth
Scott Hamilton, Executive Director, The Cimarron Alliance
Background: For decades, Exodus International was the largest so-called “ex-gay” organization in the world. Last year, its Executive Director, Alan Chambers, admitted that 99.9% of his clients did not change their sexual orientation. And, last night he said he was closing Exodus. In response, a group of hardcore fundamentalists formed the Restored Hope Network (RHN), which is largely comprised of a dissident group of Exodus defectors. The leader of the Restored Hope Network, Anne Paulk, is in the middle of a divorce with her former “ex-gay” poster boy husband, John Paulk who acknowledged this year: “Today, I do not consider myself ‘ex-gay’ and I no longer support or promote the movement.”
The group’s co-founder, Andrew Comiskey, has written: “Satan delights in homosexual perversion” and claims the source of gay relationships is “demonic.”
Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.