In 2007, five former Australian ex-gay leaders publicly said they had changed their previously held views on homosexuality. One of those was John Metyard who had been the Exodus Asia Pacific and a Living Waters leader. John had also served on the International Advisory Board of Exodus. Three former leaders of Exodus in the US also offered apologies.
“Some people have spoken out about being wounded through their experience with Love In Action. I want to say I am very sorry for the things that have wounded you or hurt you by my hands of leadership at Love In Action or anything I have done personally that has harmed you. Please forgive me.” Smid says.
Love In Action International holds that for the Christian believer, homosexual behaviour will never bring true satisfaction; and that the way to inner peace, joy, and hope is through a relationship with Jesus Christ and submission to God’s will in all areas of life, including sexuality.
If only I could flick a switch
The testimonies of the thousands of gay Christians who have resolved all issues of faith and sexuality and are living fulfilled, moral lives. The concept that a persons sexual orientation determined whether they were a Christian was flawed to begin with 40 years ago (when Exodus was founded); today it’s completely irrelevant.
- The growing scientific evidence concerning the harm caused to people who go through ‘ex-gay’ programs and statements by so many mental health professional bodies warning of the dangers.
- All reputable mental health professional organisations agree that same sex orientation does not need changing. If it is ‘unwanted’, as often quoted by ‘ex-gay’ religious groups, it is ‘unwanted’ because of ignorance about sexual orientation or religious/societal pressure to conform.
“If you feel that you are tormented by unwanted same-sex attraction then the answer lies in loving and accepting your true self not rejecting or self loathing. The term ‘unwanted same-sex attraction’ adds to the denial. It is not an attraction it is an orientation. It is far deeper than just an attraction or behaviour and is a part of your brain wiring, thought processes, hormones and behaviour. People need to examine the ‘unwanted’ part of the statement not the orientation itself.
Before you invest the time, money, emotional energy and possibly years of your life trying to go from gay to straight, ask the ex-gay leaders what guarantee they can give you that it will work. If they are honest with you, the best they will be able to offer you as a degree of ‘heterosexual functionality’, but the gay never actually goes away. Then ask yourself what would be the best way to spend your time, money and emotional energy…..rejecting yourself or accepting yourself.
After 22 years of trying to change including ex-gay programs, exorcisms and 16 years of marriage, I came to the realisation that loving myself was far healthier than hating and rejecting my true self. Like 1,000’s of others today, I finally discovered that I can live a wonderfully fulfilling, moral life as an openly gay man and still have my faith.