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Former Exodus chairman apologizes, renounces ‘reparative therapy’

'Today, I do not consider myself ex-gay and I no longer support or promote the movement'
Saturday, April 27, 2013

John Paulk, the former chairman of Exodus International, a Christian ministry devoted to performing controversial gay-to-straight “reparative therapy” has formally renounced his past and says he is “truly, truly sorry” for the pain he’s caused by advocating that gays could change their sexual orientation through prayer and therapy.

John Paulk

The former poster child of the “ex-gay movement,” Paulk issued this formal apology following a recent interview with PQ Monthly in which he renounced his anti-gay past, and said he no longer considers himself an “ex-gay.”

“For the better part of 10 years, I was an advocate and spokesman for what’s known as the ‘ex-gay movement,’ where we declared that sexual orientation could be changed through a close-knit relationship with God, intensive therapy and strong determination.

“At the time, I truly believed that it would happen. And while many things in my life did change as a Christian, my sexual orientation did not.”

[...]

“Today, I do not consider myself “ex-gay” and I no longer support or promote the movement. Please allow me to be clear: I do not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation; in fact, it does great harm to many people.”

[...]

“Today, I see LGBT people for who they are–beloved, cherished children of God. I offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology to men, women, and especially children and teens who felt unlovable, unworthy, shamed or thrown away by God or the church.”

Paulk’s formal apology comes just one week following an April 18 report in PQ Monthly, that revealed that Paulk was frequenting Portland, Ore.,-area gay bars.

He was challenged to formally renounce his past and apologize, which he had never done. Paulk was quoted as saying he had refrained from taking that step to protect his three sons, and he indicated that only in recent years has he come to accept his own sexuality.

Paulk also said in a statement on Wednesday that his 20-year marriage to his wife Anne, who describes herself as an “ex-lesbian,” is ending.

In 2011, John Smid, the former Executive Director of Exodus International’s oldest ministry “Love in Action,” also publicly admitted that he is gay, and disavowed the message he preached for years that promised gays they could change.

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20 more reader comments:

  1. How many lives were cut short because of the shit he preached? It shouldn’t be that simple to be forgiven!

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:19pm
  2. Rat bastard!!

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:26pm
  3. I know he hurt many…..but let us stand tall….

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:27pm
  4. WHY IS HE SORRY……. NOW!?
    BECAUSE HE’S A QUEER??………:~/

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:32pm
  5. forgive and forget.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:35pm
  6. The only Exodus. I know is a thrash metal band.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:39pm
  7. Forgiveness is for the forgiver as much as the forgiven. For our own good we should let go of our hate for people. Not to mention it would be better for the movement in general if we take the high ground.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:40pm
  8. Look at him.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:41pm
  9. Ok so I thank him for speaking up and I think all considered it was brave, but there is a part of me that can’t help feeling the only reason he apologized is because he got caught.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:41pm
  10. He’s only sorry because he couldn’t keep his job at Exodus and now we’re supposed to welcome him with open arms… Hugh, no thanks

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:48pm
  11. never

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:53pm
  12. What he did was definitely wrong, but you can’t hate forever. You can’t take it with you to the grave.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 3:55pm
  13. My but we are a vindictive catty bunch.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 4:06pm
  14. Duh

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 4:08pm
  15. The truth has set him free and made him a happier, more accepting individual. Good for him

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 4:30pm
  16. nevertheless……forgive and you shall be forgiven (^0^)

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 4:43pm
  17. And speaking of f^cking hypocrites who commit meaningless acts of contrition … in no way, shape, or form should this assh*le ever be given absolution for the evil he has wrought!

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 6:52pm
  18. You know, Auntie Lyubasha was right, this guy looks like an axe murderer.

    Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8:00pm
  19. Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 10:20am
  20. Glad to see he’s come to his senses and accepted who he is and that reparative therapy is highly damaging. Have set to share this Apr. 29th, 4pm. Would so love to see Exodus shut down, they cause so much harm.

    Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:26pm