Leading gay conversion group closing its doors - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Leading gay conversion group closing its doors

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LOS ANGELES -

A leading force and voice in claiming to offer a "cure" for homosexuality is not only closing its doors, but The president of Exodus International has issued an apology to anyone in the LGBT community hurt by its efforts to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals.

The organization released a press release at the ministry's Web site -- http://exodusinternational.org/2013/06/exodus-intl-president-to-the-gay-community-were-sorry/ -- Wednesday. In it, Exodus International President Alan Chambers said:

"It is strange to be someone who has both been hurt by the Church's treatment of the LGBTQ community, and also to be someone who must apologize for being part of the very system of ignorance that perpetuated that hurt," he said.

"Today it is as if I've just woken up to a greater sense of how painful it is to be a sinner in the hands of an angry church."

The decision to close comes after nearly four decades of operation, with Exodus International regarded as the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality. The move also coincides with Exodus International's 38th annual conference in Irvine, Calif., as well as Thursday's TV broadcast of "God & Gays" on Our America with Lisa Ling. On Ling's program

Chambers said, "I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have experienced.  I am sorry some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt when your attractions didn't change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents."

Chambers cited "from a Judeo-Christian perspective, gay, straight or otherwise, we're all prodigal sons and daughters" as a primary reason that Exodus is shutting down.

The Board of Directors unanimously voted to close Exodus International and begin a separate ministry.

"This is a new season of ministry, to a new generation," Chambers said. "Our goals are to reduce fear (reducefear.org), and come alongside churches to become safe, welcoming, and mutually transforming communities."

Local affiliated ministries, which have always been autonomous, will continue, but not under the name or umbrella of Exodus.

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