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August 10th, 2010
10:38 AM ET

‘Ex-gay’ ministry on gay marriage's chances after Prop 8 ruling

Alan Chambers’ opposition to Prop 8 isn’t political. It’s personal.

Chambers is the president of Exodus International, a nonprofit “ex-gay” ministry that promises freedom from homosexuality. He is also “ex-gay”– a married father of two children who says he’s abandoned homosexuality.

Chambers sighed when asked his reaction to last week’s controversial court decision. A judge ruled that California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, violated the constitutional rights of same-sex couples.

“It’s disappointing that a judge would rule against the will of the people,” says Chambers, author of "Leaving Homosexuality." “That’s the greatest tragedy.”

For 34 years, Exodus has told gay and lesbians that they can be “delivered” from homosexuality through faith in Christ, professional counseling and support groups.

But how will groups like Exodus fare if fewer Americans believe that homosexuality is a sin, and if gay marriage becomes an option?

Chambers acknowledged that “our culture is changing” and said more people are abandoning a biblical view of homosexuality.

Does he think gay marriage is inevitable?

“It certainly seems so,” Chambers says. “The jury is still out and there are certainly areas where I see a tendency for more rights for gay and lesbian people. But I also see that there’s still a fight among American people so it’s hard to know.”

Though there seems to be more acceptance of gay and lesbian people in popular culture, Chambers says demand for Exodus ministry has not declined.

“Our calls are increasing,” he says. “Our ministries say we’re busier than ever.”

He says the Prop 8 ruling shows something else: More Americans are accepting the humanity of gay and lesbian people.

“We’re entering a time when we are more compassionate and loving toward people who deserve our compassion,” he says, “and that’s gay and lesbian people.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: California • Christianity • Culture wars • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Politics • United States

soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Gary

    Calvin and jerry....who's religion is based on faith...not fact. Asking me for proof??? How about Calvin or Jerry proving their religion is of God? How about hindus proving Hinduism is of God? How about Muslims proving Islam and muhammad are of God? I am waiting .....my agnostic thoughts are all based on proof. Science,evolution natural selection,erosion escarpments,animal and plant fossils, ect. I proved sexuality is not a choice using very very very simple logic.....CHECK MATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 11, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  2. Colin

    Does anybody know the rules about what gets blocked and what doesn't? I am making very innocuous comments and being blocked.

    August 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • Ken Wood

      Colin, apparently the bias is on the part of the "moderators". they do NOT believe in FREE SPEECH. All they want is for you to agree with them and if you disagree, you will NOT have FREE SPEECH!!!

      August 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • Frogist

      Colin & Ken: I doubt it has anything to do with moderators... more like the filter that is being used in place of a human moderator. McCluck found some of the restricted words (words with t/i/t/ in it like const!tution etc.) And I figured any word that has the term s/e/x in it.

      August 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  3. theSilverHouse

    I just don't get it... I've been married for 8 years and no one's relationship, gay or otherwise, has any impact what so ever on my marriage to my husband.
    Maybe people are so upset that their marriages are failing and are looking for a way out? "oh blame the gays."? I dont know.. I think the whole thing is stupid. Just mind your business and let other people be happy

    August 11, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
    • Onewhoknows

      some opinions are beyond reason. this is what one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case said. This is tru for what you said. Beyond reason.

      August 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  4. Colin

    Odd that people who require the most exacting of proof to be dislodged from their pre-conceived notions concerning homo$exual proclivities will require absolutely no evidence whatsoever to accept the most extraordinary claims about angels, virgin births, men walking on water, life after death, and invisible mind-reading sky gods.

    August 11, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  5. Fred

    Why can'r gays find another term rather than to insist on "marriage". How about "same sex union" or something? there is no doubt that marriage has been defined for thousands of years as a union between a man and a woman. Gays are selfish and self centered and are looking to make their abnormal sexual practice legitimate and accepted. Can anyone possibly believe sex between 2 men is "normal" (not even considering religion here for all you liberals). I sspect it is really a mental illness. No matter how common it becomes it will never be normal or natural to nyone except gays.

    August 11, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  6. NewCreature7

    I beg to differ with several comments that current scientific research that people are born gay. If you read most scientific studies, they say exactly the opposite. There is no gay gene. People are not born gay. It is learned behaviour.

    August 11, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • Onewhoknows

      Newcreature: You are wrong. I don't know what you've been reading, did Alan Chambers write it? I have a lesbian daughter, and she was "always" a lesbian FROM BIRTH.

      August 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Brittany

      NewCreature,
      As a child, I was brought up in a christian home, went to church and learned the faith on a regular basis, and was never around a single homosexual person in my life until after I graduated from highschool. Yet at the tender age of 11 I found myself attracted to other girls. Homosexuality is NOT a learned behavior in the least.

      August 15, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
  7. Steve

    Just the idea of gay marriage has already sent adultry and divorce rates soaring in the straight community.

    August 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Where were all the religious leaders defending holy matrimony when the state stepped in and took control of it?

    August 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  9. brad

    I wonder if evolution didn't produce two human sexualities, one type being an evolutionary dead end. How would the dogma of "survival of the fittest" help our understanding? I guess it depends on which version of evolutionary theory is your favorite.

    August 11, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  10. Greg

    If the creation of Man Started with Adam and Eve, wouldn't that be insest for the children of Adam and Eve? And how do you explain the existence of Man thousands of years before Adam and Eve. No God didn't create Adam and Steve what he created was an world of Sin starting with Adam and Eve.

    August 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  11. john316

    "Ex-Gay" ministry....what nonsense......Why aren't they doing a "No Divorce" ministry.....or "No Pre-marital Sex" ministry.....surely people would be beating down their doors to attend......they could even do an "Ex – Redhead" ministry for the Irish........

    August 11, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  12. Guest

    Myth-People are “born gay and atheist”

    Fact—Research has not shown anyone “born gay and atheist” and suggests instead that atheist homosexual people result from a complex mix of developmental factors.

    August 11, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  13. Frogist

    Argh to the moderation... I've had my post waiting since yesterday.

    August 11, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  14. jerry

    its sad as a society that we have accepted homosexuality as an exceptable lifestyle SAD SAD SAD to quote the BIBLE and i dont mean this as a joke.GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE not adam and steve also in the BOOK OF ROMANS #1 says that homosexuality is an ABONANATION TO GOD its sad that not more people dont stand up for the truth

    August 11, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  15. NewCreature7

    Perhaps God created gays so that they have a challenge to overcome. God seems to have created a lot of selfish and angry people (or maybe they learned it themselves) and we consider it part of growing up to learn how to behave. Gay people are still responsible for their actions. Being gay is not an excuse for being selfish, hurting each other, and behaving badly. Grow up! Gay people can overcome and become responsible members of society. And yes, they can even become attracted to certain members of the opposite sex!

    August 11, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  16. Carolyn

    This guy is lying to himself if he thinks he can "pray away the gay." It's not a disease of the soul. And his wife is oblivious to the glory hole antics he's playing while in the men's washroom.

    Secondly, people are not running away from the biblical way of thinking by becoming more accepting and tolerant. According to the bible, the only person who may lay judgement on another is God. For human beings to cast stones on one another when no one is perfect is going directly against the teachings of the bible. Stick that in your "ex-gay" pipe and smoke it, Mr. Chambers.

    Finally, why should a man and a woman be able to get married just because of an unplanned pregnancy or for the tax breaks or for whatever lame reasons people have had, and a gay couple who only want to be recognized by law as life partners and lovers, who truely do love eachother are not afforded the same right. I think gays would probably have lower divorce rates than straight couples because they have had to work for their rights instead of just having it handed to them.

    August 11, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  17. NewCreature7

    There is no gay gene. Sexual feelings develop during childhood, adolescense, and adulthood. Men and women become gay because of their experiences. It surprises me how people can change from straight to gay in their 40s and 50s and try to claim that they were always gay. But if someone changes from gay to straight, everyone is suspicious and says it can't happen. If you can learn to be gay, I think you can learn to be ex-gay.

    August 11, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  18. chuck

    I thought that this man had been debunked a decade ago. Why did CNN dredge him back up from the swamps of lunacy? It is funny that when we have a gay parade once a year in Houston, the Houston Chronicle will find the 10 people opposed to homosexuality out of 50,000 or more people in favor and run with a story about the 10 people opposed. They will then publish a photo of the campiest drag queen they can find along with the story while ignoring the 49,950 regular gay folk who attend.

    August 11, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  19. vsmit

    Reprogramming people to be straight when God made them gay is about as logical and successful as reprogramming straight people to be gay. Ain't happenin'.

    August 11, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  20. NewCreature7

    God created us with the gift to be attracted to each other and love each other. Men (and women) have perverted that gift to serve our own purposes. We tend to make love sexual, even if there is no reason to be sexual. Sex is not a need. It's a nice-to-have. We tend to glamorize sex and think that it will bring us happiness and fulfilment. More often, it brings despair and pain. We should stop living for sex and live for love instead. Then men who are attracted to each other won't need to marry. They can stopping hurting each other in destructive relationships and start loving each other as friends.

    August 11, 2010 at 11:18 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.