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More on 'ex-gay' Close Encounters summer youth camp

Tar Heel activist Matt Hill Comer has an excellent follow-up on the “ex-gay” camps being held next year by Ignite Student Outreach (see my post on it ).  The organization had the cojones to send out its promotional spam to gay bloggers (Matt and I both received it) — perhaps to interest us in “restoration” to heterosexuality.

Ignite’s camps, which are to be held in Bradenton, FL, Winnsboro, SC, Ridgecrest, NC, and Norman Park, GA next year, will feature Scott Davis, director of Exodus Youth and Alan Chambers, “former homosexual” and ex-gay-for-pay head of Exodus International as speakers.

The facts against ex-gay therapies are so clear, yet groups like Ignite continue to associate themselves with ex-gay organizations. According to Ignite’s website, Exodus Youth was the group’s only affiliate organization. However, this changed after a few blog posts by me (and later by Wayne Besen, a nationally known and respected author) when Ignite quickly revamped its website. They changed the name of their “Affiliates” page to “ISO Friends” and added other groups to their affiliate listings.

The promotional invite and the group’s website make it clear that the summer camp series is designed, in part, to provide training and development for Christian youth and student ministry leaders. Both Chambers and Davis’ speakers’ profiles give credence to the exact purpose of their visit, their speaking and training and the camp programming itself.

Chambers’ profile states that he “offers unique insight into how homosexuality personally affects individuals and the broader culture” and that he will “share advice and training with youth workers at camp to teach them how to address this epidemic issue.”

Davis’ profile states that his goal is to “encourage the evangelical church to reach out to youth grappling with their sexual identity with God’s radical grace and unswerving truth” and that he “educates and trains college and youth leaders on this issue.” It also notes that Davis travels extensively for “nationwide training seminars that equip community leaders with a powerful, redemptive response to the growing crisis of pro-gay initiatives in America’s schools.”

Matt attempted to contact ISO’s director Chris Leader to comment about the organization’s relationship to Exodus, but he failed to respond to inquiries.

Wayne Besen blogs about this as well.


Also on the bill is “youth communicator”  and abstinence educator Justin Lookadoo. Here’s a real “come hither” pic of the hip dude.

H/t Daniel (and Reality Cubed for the Chambers pic).

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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