Main | Friday, January 03, 2014

Mormon "Ex-Gay" Group Shuts Down

Evergreen International, the NARTH-affiliated and largest Mormon "ex-gay" group, has shut down and merged with a "softer" group of "ex-gay" nutters that downplays reparative therapy. The Salt Lake Tribune reports:
Days after hundreds of gay and lesbian couples swarmed county offices to get Utah marriage licenses, a group originally founded to help Mormons eliminate same-sex attraction closed its doors. Before doing so, Evergreen International turned over some of its resources and mailing lists — said to number up to 30,000 participants, including many from Spanish-speaking countries — to a newer LDS-based gay support group, North Star. Evergreen President David Pruden, who could not be reached Thursday for comment, will not be joining North Star’s leadership but will continue as executive director of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. Preston Dahlgren, Evergreen’s chairman, will become a member of North Star’s board. As to the question of changing or diminishing sexual orientation, North Star takes no position, says the group’s newly named president, Ty Mansfield. "If someone had a positive experience with reparative therapy or change, we are OK with them sharing that," says Mansfield, a marriage and family therapist in Provo. "If they had a negative experience, they can share that, too."
 Jim Burroway recaps at Box Turtle Bulletin:
This move is the latest in a larger re-alignment within the ex-gay movement. Nearly two years ago, Exodus International president Alan Chambers after Chambers acknowledged that “99.9%” of ex-gay ministry members “have not experienced a change in their orientation,”disavowed the particular form of sexual orientation change therapy known as Reparative Therapy, and acknowledged that gay Christians can enter heaven. Exodus, a predominantly Evangelical-based organization, was the largest ex-gay organization in the U.S. at the time of Chambers’s statements. Over the next year and a half, Exodus struggled to find a new direction within the ex-gay movement before finally announcing its closure at its final conference last June. A newer organization, Restored Hope Network, comprised of more hard core elements of the former Exodus network, has formed in an attempt to claim Exodus’ role in the ex-gay movement.
North Star's first convention is scheduled for May.

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