They once were important leaders in Exodus, a prominent ex-gay ministry movement. But yesterday, these three individuals publicly apologized “for the harm they said their efforts had caused many gays and lesbians who believed the group’s message that sexual orientation could be changed through prayer,” according to L.A. Times reporter Rebecca Trounson.
The apology was released as a written statement at a news conference outside an office of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, timed in conjunction with Exodus’ annual meeting being held in Irvine, Calif.
“Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integral part of themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families,” the three, including former Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee, said in a joint written statement presented at the news conference. “Although we acted in good faith, we have since witnessed the isolation, shame, fear and loss of faith that this message creates.”
Now a licensed family therapist in Riverside, Bussee left Exodus in 1979 after he fell in love with a man who was a fellow ex-gay counselor with the group. He speaks out frequently against ex-gay therapies.
“God’s love and forgiveness does indeed change people,” said Bussee, who remains an evangelical Christian. “It changed me. It just didn’t make me straight.”
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