Exodus Co-Founder: Inequality Under The Law Is OK As Long As It Persuades People To Go Ex-Gay

A multi-part video interview series with Michael Bussee, co-founder of Exodus International turned critic.

Daniel Gonzales

May 11th, 2010

Modern day Exodus and president Alan Chambers provide a near non-stop supply of illogical and bizarre statements that keep watchdog sites like Truth Wins Out, Ex-Gay Watch, and BoxTurtleBulletin busy documenting and analyzing them.  My personal favorite is Alan’s claim that he might never have come to Jesus and become straight if gay marriage had been available to him when he was young and gay.

I thought I’d ask Michael Bussee what he thought of Alan’s statement.

Hat tip to Ex-Gay Watch for capturing video of Alan’s appearance at the Prop 8 rally.

(transcript below the jump)

I’m Michael Bussee, I’m one of the original co-founders of Exodus International. I left the program in 1979 and have since reconciled my spirituality and my sexuality and now I’m a vocal critic of reparative therapy programs and of Exodus International.

[music begins]

[title: “Inequality Under The Law Is OK As Long As It Persuades People To Go Ex-Gay”]

[voice of interviewer:] Alan Chambers has often says that if gay marriage had been legal when he was experimenting with being gay that he may never have been saved and found his path to Exodus as a sort of justification for keeping gay marriage illegal, what do you think of that?

[switches to segment of live simulcast political rally held by CA Prop 8 campaign on September 25, 2008]

[rally host:] 40 days, we have 40 days and that’s it.  Why is same sex marriage a bad thing?

[Alan Chambers speaking at rally via video conference:] Well for me same sex marriage would have only hindered my ability to come to the Lord, it would have only put one more obstacle along the way that wasn’t there at the time and I’m so grateful back in 1990 and 1991 that wasn’t something that stood in my way in coming to Christ in the way he had me come to him.  If that had been an option for me I certainly would have chosen it would have been a more difficult road for me and I think that’s the truth for young people like me who don’t need this obstacle in their way.

[switches back to Michael Bussee’s sitting room]

[voice of interviewer:] What do you think of that?

I think it’s sad that he never had the experience of being gay and married to a partner of his choice.  How wonderful it is to think that he may not have gotten involved in Exodus and may have had a different life path if it had been legal.

[voice of interviewer:] But as a justification for denying civil rights?

[Michael interrupting:] Oh as a justification for denying civil rights?… Absurd… Outrageous.

He’s talking out both sides of his mouth.  On one hand he says that he doesn’t think that homosexuality should be illegal or criminalized in any way but it’s ok if we don’t have equal rights.  So inequality under the law is ok with him as long as it persuades people to go exgay?

I never heard that quote before, I’m interested that he would say that.

[closing credits]


May 11th, 2010

in the bible, jesus turned water into wine, walked on water, made a blind dude see, brought a dead dude back to life, rose from the dead three days after being crucified… he was god.

chambers believes that gay marriage would prevent that same miracle worker from saving souls or turning gay people straight? (that’s assuming he would want to turn gay people straight). would jesus really require the denial of civil rights in order for him to do his thing?
with such limitations, chambers’ sounds like a man-made god. forgive me for wondering if there ever existed another type of god out there somewhere… one that’s not man-made or heavily reliant on human imagination.

Timothy Kincaid

May 11th, 2010


I agree. The god of the theocrats always seems so week and ineffective. He needs humans to do everything for him.


May 11th, 2010

Yep. It belies the complete and utter lack of faith they truly have in their God.

If you’re so right, what’s there to worry about? We’ll get what’s coming to us, and you’re only compelled to tell us what’s coming, not force us to comply.


May 11th, 2010

Daniel, I hope you will reconsider your practice of dubbing music over Michael Bussee’s talking. It’s distracting, and also seems disrespectful of Mr. Bussee. If I were the interviewee here, I’d be pretty upset about that — like, so, what I have to say isn’t interesting (or important) enough, that we have to draw in people with short attention spans by overlaying music? The overlaid music makes it feels more like propaganda, or a Scientology video. It’s cheesy. Serious subject matter should be treated seriously. This is dead-serious business, worthy of “60 Minutes,” for example. And 60 Minutes would never dream of overlaying interviews with music!!

We have plenty of other opportunities in life to hear and listen to music.

Dan Gonzales

May 11th, 2010

Nope sorry,
1) Michael has indicated he likes the music
2) This American Life deals with similar heavy subject matter with background music
and 3) My shitty $200 point and shoot digi cam leaves audio artifacts that I wish to cover up with music.

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