Via Ex-Gay Watch:
In 2007, three former Exodus leaders offered a public apology to those “who believed our message that there is something inherently wrong with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.” Today we find that Smid is offering his own apology.
Some people have spoken out about being wounded through their experience with Love In Action. ” I want to say I am very sorry for the things that have wounded you or hurt you by my hands of leadership at Love In Action or anything I have done personally that has harmed you. Please forgive me.
Concerning Exodus International he writes:
I believe I could have done a better job of letting people know that Jesus loves them purely because He does, unconditionally. I am sorry for not being a better vessel of the Love of Christ to those who deeply need to know of His love. I realize I was often more concerned with telling people how to live than I was with imparting God’ grace so that they would want to live!
Concerning the Refuge program responsible for the ordeal over Zach:
I really wanted to help the young men in our program but in some cases the design of our program caused more harm for some of these kids that it did good. I am very sorry for the ways that Refuge further wounded teens that were already in a very delicate place in life.
And Smid asks those who were hurt by or through him to contact him.
If you have been wounded by me or harmed through the hands of my leadership; please come to me and allow an opportunity for me to personally apologize with the hope that we can both be released from the bondage of unforgiveness.
Hey John, was that indeed you that showed up on my parents’ doorstep in 1999, unannounced and uninvited, to fill my mother’s head with your fundamentalist brainwashing and junk science? If so, you may leave your personal apology for setting my family on a course that has never been righted in the comments section.
But that’s as far as it needs to go. As Timothy Kincaid points out in the comments section at Ex-Gay Watch:
As for “apologize in person”, I would not recommend it. Though John has moved away from judgmentalism, his site still has as a doctrinal statement that “We acknowledge the sinfulness of any sexual act outside of the scriptural context of Holy Matrimony between a man and a woman” and I’m not seeing that to be anything less that a rejection of those who do not agree.
Exactly. I would take it further: his site still has a doctrinal statement that denies reality and stands in opposition to the existence of millions of healthy, happy LGBT people and our families. You can dress bigotry up with a bow and a new please-and-thank-you attitude, but it’s still bigotry, and it hurts actual people.
So I say “shove it.”