Once the face of the ex-gay movement, ex-ex-gay Alan Chambers is finally opening up about his dark past as president of the now defunct Exodus International, an organization that aimed to turn gay people straight.
Chambers recently sat down with The Atlantic to plug his new book, My Exodus. He began by talking about his current sexual orientation, which he understatedly describes as “complicated,” admitting that he is still very much attracted to men, but that he also maintains a “good” sex life with his wife, Leslie.
“While many relationships are built on sex, ours just includes sex,” Chambers said. “We love it and value it because we worked hard for it.”
He also talked about his antigay past, both as the leader of Exodus International and as a lobbyist.
In 2006, Chambers campaigned for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. And in 2008, he lobbied in support of Prop. 8, which re-banned same-sex marriage in California after it had already been made legal. But over time he says his thinking “evolved.”
“As I heard more stories and evaluated my own realities,” Chambers said, “I realized change in orientation was not possible or happening.”
In 2013, Chambers abruptly announced that Exodus would be closing its doors for good.
“Shutting down Exodus dealt a fatal blow to the whole idea that orientation can be changed and that God somehow loves you more because of the choices you make,” he recalled. “Some ministries still promote this idea, but they are not going to achieve the same level of success that Exodus had. That position is more of a minority than it has ever been.”
Today, Chambers has a much different message for people struggling with their sexual orientations than he did just a few years ago.
“For those who cannot reconcile their faith and sexuality, they can be affirmed in their choice of celibacy and devote their lives to causes more life giving than ‘ridding themselves of the demon homosexuality,’” he said. “And the gay Christian community can be affirmed in who they already are: beloved.”