Meet the Rev. Ken Hutcherson, a hero to ex-gays — and simultaneously, perhaps, one of ex-gays’ worst enemies.
- Featured speaker for the ex-gay network Exodus International
- Leader of a racially charged boycott against Microsoft for its nondiscriminatory employment policies toward gay workers
- Advocate of the belief that Christians should hate sinners as well as sins
- A co-leader of the Slavic antigay organization Watchmen on the Walls. The Watchmen have been linked to violence against gays in eastern Europe and blamed, in part, for the Slavic skinhead killing of a Sacramento, Calif.-area man who was perceived to be gay. The Watchmen oppose a California mandate for anti-bullying programs in public schools. And Hutcherson has traveled to Riga, Latvia, to support antigay activists who threw feces at equality advocates in 2006.
Some faculty at Mount Si High School, in the Snoqualmie Valley Public School District in Washington state, sought to mask Hutcherson’s record of bigotry last month by inviting him to speak about being a victim of racism on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. When two gay-tolerant faculty sought to publicly criticize Hutcherson’s activities against civil rights and racial harmony, they were disciplined by the school administration — and Hutcherson sought to have at least one critic fired.
Now Hutcherson is boasting that he is a victim of those who called for an honest airing of 1) his opposition to civil rights, and 2) his leadership of an organization that allegedly incites violence.
Instead of officially repudiating Hutcherson’s paranoia, Exodus executive vice president Randy Thomas has used his personal blog to parrot Hutcherson’s fear and self-pity.
Some have wished that Exodus International would prove that “change is possible” by freeing itself from its self-destructive tendencies: its fear of criticism; its bitterness toward gay people; and its political efforts to suppress truth, distort sexuality, exploit religion, and promote inequality.
But it’s possible that Exodus does not desire true change. By continuing to choose friends like Hutcherson, Exodus demonstrates that the organization may be its own worst enemy.