Media Release 4 March 2015

Is celibacy the new ex-gay?

In a surprising move, one of Australia’s remaining ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy organisations, Liberty Christian Ministries (LCM) has invited a gay Christian, Dr Wesley Hill, to speak at their conference next week. Anthony Venn-Brown, founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International says this reflects the ultimate destination these organisations much arrive at. It’s okay to be gay……but there is a twist.

LCM is a part of Exodus Global Alliance, which has continued to preach ‘freedom from homosexuality’ message even after Exodus International admitted that people don’t change their orientation and closed its doors in 2013.

LCM is one of the oldest ex-gay organisations in Australia and has been operating for over twenty years. Last year Living Waters, Australia’s longest running ex-gay organisation, closed suddenly. Living Waters and LCM have always preached the ‘change is possible’ message and that the term ‘Gay Christian’ was an oxymoron .

Anthony Venn-Brown, who has monitored ex-gay activities in Australia and spoken out about the dangers for over fifteen years, says organisations like LCM have only two choices; to close down or change their message..

‘For four decades, ex-gay organisations, said that being gay was a sin and that God’s power could transform homosexuals into heterosexuals. That message has left a trail of damaged lives and suicides. Finally in 2012, Alan Chambers, former president of Exodus International, admitted that “99.9%”  of the people he knew “have not experienced a change in their orientation”. Whilst some still refuse to believe Alan Chambers statement, it was the death knell of Christian ex-gay ministries.’ Venn-Brown said.

“There has been an increasing number of churches and people willing to accept that a person is gay innately and it can’t be changed, but at this stage, that is a far as it goes. From the ashes of the failed ex-gay movement comes the new celibate gay Christian movement.’ Venn Brown added.

Of course I’m grateful  that these people have accepted the reality that being gay is okay and not in conflict with a person’s faith, the new message “but you can’t act on it” is problematic. I believe this continues to have a negative impact on young gay and lesbian people in churches. The message now is essentially “you can never fall in love or have a life partner like others in the church”. It is like a sentence inflicted by people who only see sexual orientation in terms of a sex act and not as it truly is. Our sexual orientation is fundamental to the core of our being and profoundly influences who we love and people we would want to spend the rest of our lives with. The most profound experiences we can have as human beings, such as love and intimacy, flow from our same sex or opposite sex orientation. As with being gay, love should never be something we are ashamed of.’ Venn-Brown concluded.

Media inquires

Anthony Venn-Brown

Founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI)

Author of ‘A Life of Unlearning – A Journey to Find the Truth’

M: +61 (0)416 015 231

E: info@abbi.org.au

Twitter:@gayambassador

Honoured to be voted one of the 25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian Australians (2007 & 2009) and finalist for the 2011 ACON Community Hero Award

Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International’s mission is to create understanding and acceptance for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual. transgender, intersex) people, empower community members and build bridges with religious organisations and leaders