It was announced that both “ex-gay” organizations Love Won Out and Exodus will merge, which begs the question, is one better than two?
Love Won Out is the brain child of right wing evangelical “leader” James Dobson. Dobson has a long history of over thirty years of anti-gay rhetoric, which started in 1977 with the inception of Focus on the Family. He then formed the organization Family Research Council 1981 which attempts to imposed its right wing evangelical Christian views in government, politics,and law making.
Exodus is also a right wing evangelical organization that was founded in 1976. Since its formation Exodus has been marred with controversy. Exodus was founded by five alleged “ex-gay” men, two of which (Gary Busse and Michael Cooper) later left the organization, reneged their prior claims, and announced their love for each other. In more recent years another controversy emerged when John Paulk, a self proclaimed “ex-gay” and Exodus chairman, was caught by Wayne Besen in a Washington DC gay bar in 2000. This came after years of Paulk attesting to be “cured” from his former “gay life”. This proved to be a huge embarrassment to Exodus, contradicting years of claims preaching just the opposite. Paulk was removed and relieved of his duties with the organization.
Interestingly enough Paulk is also connected with James Dobson, as they co-founded the organization Love Won Out in 1998, a subsidiary of Focus on the Family, to specifically address and promote an “ex-gay” agenda.
Exodus and Love Won Out work to the detriment of the GLBT community as they promote conversion and reparative therapy, claiming its effectiveness to change ones orientation. These claims are asserted without any empirical evidence or peer reviewed studies and at the condemnation of 13 medical and mental health organizations, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychological Association (APA). These 13 organizations vehemently oppose reparative and conversion therapy and its damaging ways so much they actually formed the “Just the Facts coalition” which clearly states their disapproval of such actions and tactics.
This merger just reinforces the need to remain steadfast in our efforts to expose the “ex-gay” movement for what it really is, present facts and promote love and acceptance rather then shame and self loathing.