EXODUS RETURNS to its BIRTHPLACE for 35th ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE
Exodus Continues Moving Forward With Longest Running Conference On Homosexuality
Orlando, FL – Exodus International – the global Christian outreach whose mission is mobilizing the Church to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality – will celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Exodus International Freedom Conference on June 23rd – 26th in Irvine, CA. The first gathering took place in nearby Anaheim, CA in September 1976. Amidst controversy, 63 formerly gay-identified men and women gathered together for encouragement and support and ended up birthing a movement. 35 years later controversy remains, as does the original passion, vision and purpose. One thing that has changed is the breadth of the ever-growing ministry that now encompasses outreaches on 6 continents boasting more than 300 ministries, a vibrant church association and an outreach to youth.
Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, says, “35 years later, we’re still here and we are moving forward. Thousands of individuals, including myself, continue to boldly proclaim the freedom we have found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.” While Exodus exists in an increasingly hostile environment, they remain committed to providing a biblical perspective for those who feel conflicted by their same-sex attractions and their faith as well as offering understanding, encouragement, counseling and support to friends and family members impacted by homosexuality.
Ron Dennis, one of the 63 who gathered in 1976 and a current board member will attend the event along with Frank Worthen, who embodied the heart of Exodus at the first gathering. Kent Paris, who attended his first conference in 1977, will share his story at the conference – recounting the early days of the ex-gay movement.
The Exodus International Freedom Conference is for those who desire to live in congruence with biblical teaching on sexuality as well as for families and leaders concerned about this issue. The four-day conference features 50 workshops on a variety of issues related to homosexuality, general sessions and special events for youth and married couples.
To receive media credentials to cover this event or to arrange for an interview, please call the Exodus Press Office at (407) 599-6872 or (321) 279-8965. For a schedule of events or more information of this conference, please go to: www.exodusfreedom.org
Founded in 1976, Exodus International is the largest Christian organization dealing with homosexual issues in the world today. With over 240 affiliates in its network, Exodus is a dynamic outreach ministry to sharing the hope of freedom through the power of Jesus Christ.
In response to an Exodus International conference happening in the Chicago area on July 14th, the Gay Liberation Network will hold a protest (see the poster for the protest here) outside the event, declaring:
Exodus International is the nation’s foremost organization claiming to use Christianity to turn LGBT people into “ex-gays.” And while they say they “love” us, their fake attempts to change gays into straights is rooted in their hatred of gay people. They oppose all civil rights for LGBT people – equal employment, housing and access to public accomodations [sic], and one of their board members even traveled to Uganda recently to endorse a vicious law which makes gay sex punishable by life imprisonment. Every major, relevant professional association has denounced Exodus’s efforts as potentially very damaging to the very people Exodus claims to “help.”
The protest’s facebook event page can be found here.
President of Exodus International, Alan Chambers, welcomed news of the protest saying:
“Ironically, there are many at this event who at one time would have been outside protesting it, but have exchanged the hurt and anger of the past for a relationship with Jesus Christ and with caring individuals in the Christian church.
“What we, as the global Christian church, must recognize is that on the other side of a picket line, are often hurting people in need of God’s unconditional love,” said Chambers. “While our views on these issues may differ, the bold love of Christ must prevail over opposing policies, differing views and even our own pride.”
Now I ask, does this sound like someone that has a “hatred of gay people?”
NARTH recently put out a press release concerning a new journal they’ve published:
New Scientific Research Refutes Unsubstantiated Claims Regarding Homosexuality
Encino, CA- A new report in this month’s edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of Human Sexuality finds that sexual orientation is not immutable and that psychological care for individuals with unwanted homosexual attractions is beneficial and poses no significant risk of harm. The study, What Research Shows: NARTH’s Response to the American Psychological Associations Claims on Homosexuality, examines over 100 years of professional and scientific literature as well as over 600 reports from clinicians, researchers, and former clients principally published in professional and peer-reviewed journals.
This research, assembled over a period of eighteen months by three of the leading academics and therapists in the field and under the direction of the NARTH Scientific Advisory Committee directly refutes unsubstantiated claims made by some factions of the American Psychological Association and several other professional mental health organizations. The study, conducted by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, a network of professionals dedicated to upholding the rights of men and women dealing with unwanted homosexual attraction to receive effective psychological care, confirms the results of a 2007 longitudinal study conducted by researchers Stanton L. Jones and Mark Yarhouse that found that religiously mediated sexual orientation change is possible for some individuals and does not cause psychological harm on average.
“This research is a significant milestone when it comes to the scientific debate over the issue of homosexuality,” said NARTH president Dr. Julie Hamilton. “It also confirms what we have seen evidenced in hundreds of individuals who have benefited from the help of NARTH therapists. We believe that every person should have the right to independently determine their own course in life and for many that involves seeking counseling options that affirm their personal beliefs.”
In addition to What Research Shows, a collection of peer-reviewed scholarly and professional papers entitled Understanding, Preventing, and Treating Sexual Identity Confusion in Children and Adolescents, will be published in Volume II of the Journal of Human Sexuality.
Requests for copies or for a more detailed summary of the inaugural issue of the journal should be addressed to: Journal of Human Sexuality • 307 West 200 South, Suite 3001 • Salt Lake City, UT 84101. The journal can also be ordered by phone at 1-888-364-4744 or online at www.narth.com. A PDF summary of the journal may be downloaded at www.narth.com.
Rather than putting out information regarding new studies, this is an anlaysis of “over 100 years of professional and scientific literature as well as over 600 reports from clinicians, researchers, and former clients principally published in professional and peer-reviewed journals.” This should prove to be a great resource in the ongoing public debate over homosexuality, reparative therapy, and “ex-gay” or “post-gay” ministries.