Lack of Interest Cancels ’Ex-Gay’ Exodus International’s Conference

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Monday May 7, 2012

The major "ex-gay" group Exodus International has canceled its "Love Won Out" conference due to a lack of interest and money, Ex-Gay Watch reported.

The online newsletter points out that the organization, which believes gay men and women can change their sexual orientation through conversion therapy, does not have as many people interested in the group as it has in the past. Exodus' last conference barely brought in 400 people but during its peak, the group had nearly 1,000 individuals at its events.

"It is with great disappointment that we are notifying you today that the Love Won Out Conference scheduled for May 19th at Legacy Church in Albuquerque, N.M., has been cancelled," Exodus' senior director of events David Fountain said in an email, which was sent out to planned attendees.

Fountain also suggests that individuals who paid for the event might "Automatically convert all or part of your registration fees into a tax-deductible gift to support the ministry efforts of Exodus International."

Truth Wins Out an organization dedicated to fighting the "ex-gay" movement, so-called "reparative" psychoanalytic practices, and conversion indoctrination by fundamentalist Christian sects, has been following Exodus travails over the past few years. The organization has been hounded by the psychological establishment and a prevailing attitude that, as Lady Gaga put it, we are "born this way." But the organization has also come under relentless ridicule for the extremely high "recidivism" among its members, including leaders.

'This signals the decline of this organized lie in the United States.'

Truth Wins Out crowed, "This is a positive development and signals the decline of this organized lie in the United States" on its website.

In November of last year, Exodus held a secret meeting about its fundraising strategies and how to keep the group from social and financial oblivion.

Over the past few years the organization has reduced its staff and lost important supporters. But Exodus' president, Alan Chambers, tried to come up with ways to rebrand the group in order to save it from financial destruction.

"The cancellation of this conference, the first time we know of since either Exodus or Focus on the Family held the event, appears to provide more evidence of their decline," Ex-Gay Watch writes.

A few weeks ago a California State committee advanced a bill that would protect citizens from having to undergo "ex-gay" therapy. The legislation states that anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed to receive "sexual orientation change efforts." Individuals must also sign an "informed consent form," which comes with the following disclaimer:

"Having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. There is no scientific evidence that any types of therapies are effective in changing a person's sexual orientation," the disclaimer reads. "Sexual orientation change efforts can be harmful. The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.