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Co-founder of 'ex-gay' movement says conversions are bogus, dangerous

(via Americablog). Wayne Besen, author of the Anything But Straight, an expose of the ex-gay movement, has a statement up on his site from one of the co-founders of Love In Action, former “ex-gay” John Evans.

Love in Action, you’ll recall, is running the Refuge conversion camp where teen blogger Zach was placed by his parents when he came out to them. Evans says that gay conversion groups “shattered lives.”

“In the past 30 years since leaving the ‘ex-gay’ ministry I have seen nothing but shattered lives, depression and even suicide among those connected with the ‘ex-gay’ movement,” Evans writes in his letter to John Smid, Love In Action’s current director. “I challenge Christians to investigate all sides of the issue of being gay and Christian. The Church has been wrong in the past regarding moral issues and I’m sure there will be more before Christ returns.”

Evans, a gay man, founded what may be the first modern ex-gay group in San Raphael, Calif. in 1973, along with a heterosexual preacher Kent Philpott. Evans left his life partner of ten years to start the gay conversion group. He later dropped out after he realized it didn’t work and his best friend committed suicide because he could not turn heterosexual.

“Having the founder of Love In Action step forward to admonish the ministry he started speaks to the utter hopelessness and futility of these groups, not to mention the danger they represent,” said Wayne Besen, Author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth (Haworth, 2003). “Most disturbing are the compulsory gay boot camps for teens which are tantamount to child abuse. They should immediately be shut down.”

Go to Wayne’s site for Evans’s entire letter.

Other Blend posts on Zach’s story:
* Zach’s parents ‘come out’ about the attempt to ‘de-gay’ their son

* Why ‘ex-gay’ programs like Love in Action are immoral

* Zach’s story makes the NYT

* Follow-up to Love in Action’s ‘ex-gay’ re-education camp

* Six more weeks in ‘ex-gay’ camp for TN teen

* Zach to be released from “ex-gay” Love in Action prison

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding