After claiming last week that the ex-gay network had stepped back from public policy, Exodus admitted otherwise this week — but without admitting the apparent deception.
President Alan Chambers acknowledged to Ex-Gay Watch that his organization will continue as an active member of the Arlington Group, a political alliance of most major religious-right organizations that coordinates members’ policy choices and priorities.
Chambers claimed last week, “There isn’t anyone on staff that has policy in their job description and we don’t plan to spend money there.” On its 2006 filing of an IRS 990 form (PDF via Guidestar), Exodus reported a $5,000 donation to the Arlington Group; Exodus donations for 2007 are yet to be disclosed.
Chambers announced last week that Exodus’ withdrawal from public policy began in “August, 2007. 2008, however, marked a complete refocus on ministry.”
But as TWO has noted since then, Exodus board member Phil Burress (pictured), youth activist Mike Ensley, and speaker Ken Hutcherson continue to actively campaign for antigay and partisan political causes.
Just two days ago, Exodus executive vice president Randy Thomas boasted of his ongoing, expenses-paid trips to Washington, D.C., to provide political “friends” with ex-gay rhetoric and support.
And on Friday, board member Burress sued to hold taxpayer-subsidized church services in an Ohio public library. Burress’ self-led Citizens for Community Values (another Arlington Group member) opposes anti-bullying, tolerance, and sex-education programs in schools, and it is largely responsible for a 1993 Cincinnati vote to overturn local antidiscrimination law. A 2004 vote reversed the earlier vote.
In reaction to Exodus’ commitment to the Arlington Group, former ex-gay Peterson Toscano finds Exodus violating Biblical values under Chambers’ leadership.