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Posts for June, 2013

Exodus International Withdraws from Exodus Global Alliance

Jim Burroway

June 12th, 2013

Exodus International has issued the following statement:

The Exodus International Board of Directors officially voted to withdraw from the Exodus Global Alliance (EGA) May 28, 2013 after 18 years of membership.  Exodus International was a founding member of EGA in 1995.  This change in relationship releases both ministries to serve the Lord, the Church and their constituents in ways that honor their respective calling.

EGA is the worldwide coalition of “Exodus” ministries, which seek to work together under one umbrella structure.  In 2005 Exodus Europe withdrew from EGA, as well.

Exodus International wishes to thank Bryan Kliewer, the EGA Board and network of ministries for their longstanding partnership and friendship.

There has been longstanding confusion over the relationship between Exodus International and Exodus Global Alliance. Despite having “International” in its name, Exodus International has mainly confined its organizational activities to North America, although several Exodus officers, board members and member ministries have traveled throughout the world to participate in conferences, church missions, and other activities to spread the ex-gay message. Exodus Global Alliance, on the other hand, has operated as an international umbrella organization and resource for ministries around the world, similar to the role that Exodus International has played in North America.

Organizationally, the two organizations are separate, with separate leadership and governing boards, with Exodus International being a member organization of the Exodus Global Announcement But with this announcement of Exodus International’s departure from Exodus Global Alliance, the confusion between the two organizations will undoubtedly be compounded as they both continue to share the Exodus name.

This announcement is the latest in a long string of developments over the past year and a half, in which Exodus International president Alan Chambers has steered the organization through several changes in messaging and tone. The changes began with his acknowledgment in January 2012 that, “the majority of people that I have met, and I would say the majority meaning 99.9% of them, have not experienced a change in their orientation.” Later that month, Chambers withdrew his organization’s support for the particular from of conversion therapy known as “reparative therapy.” Chambers came under increasing criticism from several key players in the ex-gay movement, and many member ministries have withdrawn from Exodus to form the much more hard-core Restored Hope Network. Joe Dallas, who had led Exodus International from 1991 to 1993 and has been closely identified with Exodus as a conference speaker throughout the past two decades, was one of the founding members of RHN. Last week, he announced that he was leaving Exodus International.

So far, there has been no comment from Exodus Global Alliance.

In related news, it was announced last week that Our America, with Lisa Ling will air an episode on June 20 on Orah Winfrey’s OWN network, in which Chambers will speak with several ex-gay survivors and offer an apology:

The story of Exodus International, the LGBT men and women who have been affected by the organization and the nationwide dialogue that surrounds this topic continues in an Our America special report.

For almost 40 years, Exodus International claimed to offer a “cure” for homosexuality. Alan Chambers, the leader of Exodus, decided last year to stop endorsing the controversial practice of gay-reparative therapy. And now, he has a new message: an apology.

In a special episode, Lisa Ling is joined by a group of survivors of the condemned and damaging practice of “reparative therapy” as they confront Alan Chambers. Chambers recently asked Ling to help orchestrate an opportunity in which he could formally apologize to those who felt deceived and defrauded by Exodus’ practices and to announce that the organization will cease to be an “ex gay” organization.

Tune in Thursday, June 20th at 10/9c for a special presentation of this powerful report.

Ex-Gay Group’s Canadian Charitable Status Challenged

Jim Burroway

October 10th, 2010

"So, basically, our charity shoves gays head first into boxes of spiders -- but we'll need funding.There is a grassroots campaign led by Slap Upside the Head blogger Mark McIntyre to challenge the charitable status of Toronto-based Exodus Global Alliance, the global arm of the confusingly named American-based and North American-focused Exodus International.

McIntyre got the idea in August after learning that New Zealand’s Charities Commission had denied Exodus Global Alliance charitable status and the tax benefits that go along with it. He noticed that, like New Zealand, Canada’s rules for charitable status calls for providing a “public benefit,” and that the charity’s activities must “be “regarded as valuable by the common understanding of enlightened opinion,” and such value “must be weighed against any harm that may arise from the proposed activity and a net benefit must result.”

Homosexuality is not a disorder recognized by any respected medical or psychological organization, and the American Psychological Association condemned ex-gay therapy as ineffective while noting that some who undergo efforts to change sexual orientation have been harmed by the effort. “I’m pretty sure Revenue Canada — if they knew what Exodus itself is actually doing — they might have an issue with it,” McIntyre says.

Xtra noticed that Exodus Global Alliance might not have been fully forthcoming to Revenue Canada in what their “charity” does:

Exodus Global Alliance’s annual returns to Canada Revenue Agency have never mentioned the group’s main goal: pushing gay people to change their sexuality. In fact, the reports never refer to sexual orientation at all. For 10 years, the reports have described the organization’s mission in 30 words: “Educating and training in dealing with abuse and family issues. Developing ministries to help families and individuals in pain. Teaching church groups, schools and youth. Helping and teaching at conferences.”

Bryan Kliewer, executive director of Exodus Global Alliance, says the word “homosexual” doesn’t appear in the description because there wasn’t enough space. “They provide only a very small field for the kinds of things you can report,” he says.

Exodus described their mission to Revenue Canada in thirty words without using the word gay or homosexual. But they get to exactly what they’re all about on their web site with impressive economy: “Proclaiming that change is possible for the homosexual through the transforming power of Jesus Christ.” Fifteen words.

Revenue Canada spokesman Philippe Brideau told Xtra that revocation of charitable status is a last resort. The agency issues warnings, issues fines and suspensions before revoking charitable status. Brideau wouldn’t comment on this particular case.

Exodus Denied Tax-Exempt Status in New Zealand

Jim Burroway

August 30th, 2010

A chapter of the Exodus Global Alliance was denied “charitable status” by New Zealand’s Charities Commission, denying a local Christian Trust’s exemption from paying income taxes. Before this ruling, Exodus had enjoyed its tax-exempt status for about a decade.

Citing guidelines and policies among professional psychiatric, psychological and counseling organizations, the Charities Commision declared that Exodus was not performing a legitimate public benefit because homosexuality was not a mental disorder and did not need curing. The commission also  noted the American Psychological Association’s report which found that there was little scientific evidence that homosexuality could be “cured.”

You can read the commission’s decision here (PDF: 809KB/15 pages)

Mean-Spirited Tweet of the Day

Jim Burroway

July 23rd, 2010

You know a counterfeit is a counterfeit when the happiness and freedom it initially promised ends up leading to deeper bondage.

— Exodus International president Alan Chambers

“Counterfeit” is ex-gay code-speak for gay people getting together, falling in love, forming families, and living the American dream. “Bondage” is ex-gay code-speak for just going about your life — that is if you’re gay. If you’re straight, then the term is just “living.” But whatever.

Alan Chambers will spend next week taking his counterfeit message to Brazil. He will be speaking for six days at a Summer Institute next week at the Igreja Bautista Central in Magé, near Rio de Janero. Here’s the Google translation:

We are glad to realize another Institute. This time, in partnership with Exodus International. Exodus International is the largest evangelical institution that works to restore and evangelization of the world’s homosexuals. Together, we are bringing the topic: “Grace That Makes Reborn.”

Our purpose is to show the grace of God as the unconditional and sole agent that enables a real transformation in the lives of those who struggle with homosexuality and who are often marginalized by society and the Church of Jesus Christ.

The instrument used by God to bless us in these days will be Mr. Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International. He will minister every day talking about the emotional and spiritual causes of homosexuality, will speak about the myths we create about homosexuality, the importance of a Christian attitude toward homosexuals, and speak of the structure of this ministry to be applied in the Church to bless the lives of people living this conflict.

We have no doubt that these days will mark our history and our lives, for this reason we invited you to join us. We believe that, as a church, or simply, individuals must have an attitude of love and compassion for those who also loved Jesus. After all, the cross of Christ is not for a privileged few but for all, including homosexuals. God has no favorites when it comes to saving people from their sins. His love and grace are the essential ingredients for a sinner can be reborn. Therefore, we believe this can make FREE qualqur again sinner.

Sign up and receive this blessing.

Does Exodus Global Alliance Support Criminalization of Homosexuality?

Jim Burroway

April 8th, 2008

Mike Airhart at Truth Wins Out asks a very good question. They did in 2006. That’s when Exodus Global Alliance sponsored a conference in Barbados. Here’s the banner of their promotional flyer that year:

Click to see the full flyer

Exodus International, the American arm of the evangelical ex-gay movement, meets anti-gay violence in the U.S. with silence and opposition to anti-bullying measures. In Jamaica, homosexuality carries a maximum penalty of ten years at hard labor and Christian pastors there consider it offensive when we suggest that Christians ought not murder people. Meanwhile, murder music — with its explicit calls for burning, stabbing, and chopping gay people to death — fill the airwaves and dance halls. Somewhere in all of this stands the Exodus Global Alliance.