Bill Is the Latest Blow to the Faltering Ex-Gay Industry

NEW YORK – Truth Wins Out praised the California state Senate today for passing a bill to repeal an anachronistic 1950 law that labels gay people “sexual deviants” and requires the Department of Mental Health to research the causes and potential remedies for homosexuality. AB2199 passed on a 36-0 vote — with no debate – and had been already approved by the state Assembly.

“This bill sailed though in the backyard of The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which highlights the declining influence of the ex-gay industry,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The vote is the latest blow to beleaguered “ex-gay” organizations that have been hobbled by scandals and financial decline.”

On Monday, Exodus International, the largest ex-gay organization, admitted on its blog that it faces serious financial challenges. The “pray away the gay” outfit begged followers for money, writing:

Will you pray and ask if God would use YOU to extend His hand of generosity to our ministry during this challenging season?”

The organization also announced layoffs, mirroring those by Focus on the Family, which sold its financially strapped “ex-gay” road show, “Love Won Out”, to Exodus last year. Apparently, it was not such a wise investment for Exodus, judging by the group’s latest plea for help.

“Dear friends, please pray for us at Exodus,” wrote the organization’s President Alan Chambers.  “We have experienced an unexpectedly low giving season this summer coupled with much higher expenses (insurance, utilities, etc). Sadly, we have had to let several staff go. Your prayers are appreciated. For those who are also having to endure this unfriendly economy, our prayers are with you!”

Additionally, The Minnesota Independent reported on Monday that a key Exodus affiliate, Living Word Christian Church in Minnesota, has gone into foreclosure. It was bought at auction July 28 by a lender. This is the same Minnesota church and Exodus affiliate that hosted kill-the-gays youth activist Bradlee Dean last year and endorsed far-right Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann.