FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GAY CHRISTIAN NETWORK APPLAUDS DECISION TO SHUT DOWN "EX-GAY" MINISTRY
RALEIGH, NC—June 20, 2013—The Gay Christian Network (GCN), an interdenominational organization supporting LGBTQ Christians, praised the decision by longtime "ex-gay" organization Exodus International to close down its cure ministry.
"As a Christian, I grew up believing groups like Exodus could make me straight," said GCN executive director Justin Lee. "Even years after I realized that didn't work, I continued to hear from friends and family who pushed me to keep trying to change my orientation. Exodus's announcement today is the acknowledgement many of us have been waiting to hear for a long, long time."
Lee founded the Gay Christian Network as an alternative to Exodus in 2001, and today the organization supports gay Christians in committed relationships as well as those who believe they are called to celibacy.
"We believe there's room in the church for a disagreement about the morality of gay sex. What we don't support is the idea that gay people can go through some program and come out straight. That doesn't work, and we're glad to see Exodus publicly acknowledge that," Lee said.
In 2012, both Lee and Exodus president Alan Chambers came under fire for appearing together on stage during an annual Gay Christian Network conference weekend to discuss why they disagreed. An audience member's recording of that conversation was posted online and generated significant controversy due in part to Chambers's statement that "99.9%" of the people seeking treatment in his ministry had failed to go from gay to straight.
Lee's 2012 book, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate, discusses his own time in the ex-gay world and openly criticizes Exodus for not having been up front about what it could or couldn't do.
"Ex-gay ministries have resulted in broken relationships and destroyed lives, promising orientation change but not delivering on that promise. Yet to this day, many Christians still believe gay people can become straight through prayer and therapy. We at the Gay Christian Network continue to educate churches every day about why ex-gay programs don't work and how they can, instead, offer loving, supportive ministries for their LGBTQ members," Lee said.
The Gay Christian Network is an interdenominational nonprofit organization supporting LGBTQ Christians and those who love them. GCN offers an online community with over 20,000 members along with other videos, articles, and resources, on its website at gaychristian.net.
For more information or an interview with Justin Lee, contact:
Gay Christian Network
Hachette Book Group (publisher of Lee's book Torn)