Posted by: Catherine Lugg | July 7, 2012

Ex-gay group, Exodus, drifts theologically

The “ex-gay” Christian organization, Exodus, has come to the conclusion that queers cannot be cured of our sexual orientation. Now, this notion of “cure” has been dismissed by mainstream health professionals since the early 1970s. So, on one level, this is about as much “news” as Anderson Cooper’s coming out.

But since Exodus has long been wedded to the literalist camp of Protestant Christianity (that is, the Bible is completely accurate as written–everything in the Bible really, really happened), this is actually pretty important. Members of Exodus long served as the queer step-children of various Protestant Right political organizations arguing that since queers could be cured of our heretical lives (in their eyes, of course), that we SHOULD be cured (please fire up that electro-shock machine). The leaders of Exodus have run with a very ugly and hateful crowd from the 1970s through to today.

But with the change in the US political culture, and queers increasingly being grudging measures of equal rights and, more importantly, that queers are far less likely to be closeted or take homophobic “crap,” it’s been harder to maintain these fictions. Hence, Exodus is giving up it’s “cure the gays” crusade.

This *IS* news.  In some locales, it’s still legal to inflict this “repairitive therapysnake oil on adults (though they have to consent to “treatment”). More insidiously, it’s still legal to subject queer kids to this torture–without THEIR consent. With Exodus breaking away from the “cure the queer” club, the foundations for religiously-inspired homophobia have crumbled a bit more. This is very good news indeed.

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