In 1986 Robbie Palmer was murdered in rural Indiana, his body dumped in a farm field drainage ditch, left there to rot, a carcass for the turtles and wildlife to eat. His murder took place long before anyone knew the name Matthew Shepard.
I've seen the video of the gay man being "delivered" in church. Some find it funny. I think it's sad. And I don't blame him, because it's not his fault. It's the delusion, deception and power of the church (man). Many gay men have tried to pray the gay away, just not publicly.
Exodus International and similar organizations may not be performing frontal lobotomies to try to alter one's sexual orientation, but the psychological damage that has been inflicted on countless people is indisputable.
We told our son that he had to choose between Jesus and his sexuality. Choosing God, practically, meant living a lifetime condemned to being alone. So, just before his 18th birthday, Ryan, depressed, suicidal and disillusioned, made a new choice.
Exodus International leader Alan Chambers apologized recently for the harm done to LGBT people by the so-called "ex-gay" movement. In that moment, the face that came to mind for me was the bruised, burned and emaciated face of 15-year-old Raymond Buys.
I heard you say that you regret the way in which Exodus communicated its message. And I definitely heard you repeatedly say that it's high time for the church to start welcoming gay people. But I never heard you say that it's OK for people to be gay.
There are not enough words in the world to undo the harm done to LGBT people who have been damaged, devalued and, in far too many cases, destroyed by the toxic narrative that their sexual orientation was an illness to be cured.
In an odd court decision released Monday, federal judge William Shubb temporarily blocked California from enforcing S.B. 1172, a groundbreaking law that prohibits anti-gay therapists from trying to turn gay minors straight. It seems Shubb is a bit confused about the First Amendment.
Let me say this as a fellow evangelical: Brothers and sisters, whether you support or oppose same-sex relationships, one fact is undeniable. No ministry can turn same-sex-attracted people into opposite-sex-attracted people. It simply doesn't happen.
This week I found myself beginning to finally understand the concept of gay conversion therapy. I'd always thought that the idea was to "switch off" someone's sexuality and "teach" that person how to fancy the opposite sex. I was wrong.
The truth is that ex-gays are not fully accepted in their own religious communities. While preachers and rabbis publicly regard their ex-gay congregants as heroes and champions, ex-gays are often ridiculed and judged by the very people that demand they change.
In June I penned a column that predicted that so-called "ex-gay" programs would crumble from internal rot. In the months since, the decline of these "pray away the gay" organizations has only accelerated.