“And away he goes, precious. Gone! Gone! Gone! Smeagol is free!”
Several organizations have responded to last week’s announcement that Florida-based ex-gay/sexual orientation change ministry Exodus International will close.
- The National Religious Leadership Roundtable includes representatives of Christian affinity and interest groups including the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, the Unity Fellowship Church, the Metropolitan Community Churches, and DignityUSA.
- Cindi Love is the executive director of Soulforce, a non-profit that sponsors nonviolent student Equality Rides to Christian colleges across the country.
- Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International is a support and advocacy organization that has served current and former Seventh-day Adventists for nearly 40 years. It formed in California in 1976, the same year that Exodus International incorporated in Orlando.
Individuals have shared some powerful responses in the last week as well:
- Sean Sala is a US veteran who participated in Lisa Ling’s special God and Gays last Thursday.
- Shay Kearns is an Old Catholic Church priest who grew up in churches that promoted Exodus International’s change dogma as the solution for non-heterosexuality and “deviant” gender expression.
- Rachel Held Evans is a Christian writer whose blog community responded to the Exodus announcement by sharing their experiences with Exodus and other ex-gay organizations.
- Brent Walsh is a minister in Indiana who educates congregations on gender and trans awareness. He describes the deep impacts of Exodus’ residential program Love In Action on his life.
- Jane Brazell is a member of an online group of ex-gay survivors and is based in Washington state.
On May 28 this year, Exodus International quietly withdrew from the Exodus Global Alliance, a confederation from ex-gay groups (the Florida nonprofit only reported this on June 12). Exodus Global has branches in Asia, the Pacific, Central and South America, and Africa, all regions where anti-LGBT sentiment has particularly violent legal and social consequences for LGBT people and their families. On June 21, the Exodus Global Alliance dissociated itself from Alan Chambers’ apology issued on Exodus International’s behalf, and pledged to continue and promote reparative “ministry” and orientation suppression.
Exodus International may now be defunct, but its legacy continues.