Obama Calls for an End to Reparative Therapy

Obama Calls for an End to Reparative Therapy

April 9, 2015


UNITED STATES – We, as former leaders and founders of conversion/ex-gay therapy, stand with President Obama and call for an end to the scientifically discredited practice of “conversion therapy,” also known as reparative therapy, ex-gay treatments and sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).

As we stated in our open letter (July, 2014), we represent more than 50 years of experience and can attest to the emotional and spiritual damage caused to men, women, children and their families. Now with more than 40 years of research, nearly every major medical, mental and social health organization affirms that conversion therapy does not work. It has, in fact, proven to be potentially harmful.

Unfortunately, the issues of sexuality and gender are used as divisive weapons between political parties, making the human lives of LGBT people fodder for debate and leverage for control and power. In the crosshairs, lie young victims whose potential straddles perceived religious freedoms and real life dilemmas. We can do better than this.

Banning reparative therapy for minors from licensed clinical mental health professionals assures young people can find solace and solidarity in the scientific community, while holding mental health workers accountable. It does not limit them, or their parents, from seeking spiritual advice from clergy. It does however, send a clear message that the practice of sexual orientation change efforts does not work, and should alert and alarm guardians of its potentially dangerous, or even deadly, effects.

As one would never send a patient to a doctor to perform unethical, unnecessary, and outdated medicine, it is time to hold mental health practitioners to similar standards. We welcome President Obama’s statement and stand with him in opposition to reparative therapy for minors, and call on everyone, regardless of political affiliation, to stand with us and put an end, once and for all, to this practice.

Brad Allen

Lay Leader Volunteer (2005-2007)

Church Network Coordinator (2007)

Exodus International

Darlene Bogle

Founder, Director, Counselor

Paraklete Ministries (1985 to 1992)

Michael Bussee

EXIT (1974-1979)


Exodus International (1976-1979)

Catherine Chapman

Project Coordinator (2000-2003)

Women’s Ministry Director (2005-2007)

Portland Fellowship

Jeremy Marks


Courage UK (1988 – 2000)

Exodus Europe (1988 – 1989)

John Paulk

Love in Action Leadership Team (1989-1993)

Public Relations Director, Portland Fellowship (1996-98)

Founder-Director, Love Won Out (1998-2003)

Exodus International Board of Directors (1998-2003)

Bill Prickett

Founder, Executive Director

Coming Back (1986-1988)

Tim Rymel

Outreach Director

Love in Action (1991-1996)

Yvette Cantu Schneider

Executive Director (2001-2005) Living in Victory Ministry

Director of Women’s Ministry, Exodus International (2008-2011)

Policy analyst, Family Research Council (1998-2011)

John J. Smid

Staff Member (1987-1990) Executive Director, Love In Action (1990-2008)

Exodus International Board of Directors (1990-1995; 2002-2008)

Randy Thomas

Executive Director, Living Hope Ministries (1999 to 2002)

Staff member, Executive Vice President, Exodus International (2002-2013)

Michael D. Watt

Drop-in Support Group Coordinator, Love in Action (2005-2006)

Love in Action Board Member (2006-2008)

Kevin White

Manager of Exodus Books, Exodus International (2006-2008)

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print this article!
  • Turn this article into a PDF!
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • Google Bookmarks


4 Responses to “Obama Calls for an End to Reparative Therapy”

  1. eileen says:

    Hi John.

    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and have read (I think) every post.

    As a believer in Jesus Christ, trying to understand my youngest brother’s homosexuality as well as many, many friends I love and care about who are also homosexual, I have found your blog to be very enlightening as well as heartbreaking.

    I have been tempted at times to change my point of view about the reconciliation between a homosexual lifestyle and Christianity. But the more I have learned from those who do believe their faith can be biblically reconciled to a homosexual lifestyle, the more confirmed I have become that this simply is not the case. The arguments against clear biblical texts and their meaning simply do not hold water. There can be no ambiguity or uncertainty about it.

    I have grown to care about you, personally, very, very much, as I do my brother and my homosexual friends. And that is why I will not only continue to pray for you and them, I would like to offer a truly biblical perspective on homosexuality from a young man who is very upfront about his same-sex attractions but who, in light of who he knows he is in Christ, to forsake his inclinations to follow the Lord in authentic, sacrificial faith.

    My hope is that you will hear his story in his own words, maybe even take the step to engage with him personally. I write this to you because I am hopeful that the Lord would draw you unto Himself and show you that He truly is sufficient to meet all your (our) needs, for He is the Author and Finisher of your faith, and if you will truly seek Him out in all truth, no matter how difficult, He will lead you to final victory – not just to live for Him in the way He intended, but that you may see that, as Matt has, a homosexual lifestyle is quite inconsistent with authentic Christian faith.

    I can’t begin to think in any way that this is an easy road, I know personally that it isn’t for any of us, though I truly believe that the homosexual struggle is unlike any that the rest of us could possibly experience.

    I hope and pray that you would read and listen to what Matt & Rosaria have to say, and that the truth of their words would imbed themselves into your heart where they will take root and result in your ultimate victory & salvation. This is my sincere prayer for you, because I really care, more than you know.


  2. John Smid says:

    I really appreciate that you’ve read through my posts. I’m flattered and honored that you would take the time to do that.

    Eileen, I’m very familiar with Matt Moore and his writings. I’ve followed his struggle to find balance and healthiness in his life.

    I’ve been working this through in my own life for thirty five years since first acknowleging my own homosexuality. I’ve worked with others struggling with their sexuality for thirty years now.

    I’ve come to a place where I’ve finally found my own sweet spot in life with my sexuality and my faith. It’s not that I have all the answers, because I don’t. Actually as I grow and mature, I find I know far fewer of the answers. Life is full of questions that don’t have answers.

    Keep reading because there are more things to process and I hope to continue to do so with openness and transparency.


  3. John Smid says:

    What I know about Matt is that he has struggled for many years. His struggle has been something that has been very public as he has written about it. I’ve seen someone who has vacillated back and forth, in and out of accepting his homosexuality, and denying it. Frankly, I’ve read, researched, pondered all of the diverse thoughts on this for many, many years. As many would say, there isn’t much new under the sun.

    I believe I’ve been living in the Lord’s will for all of these years. It sounds as though you are warning me of an impending doom, an eternity of isolation and punishment for my lack of repentance before the Lord. You’ve said it in a very kind way, but the underlying message is that of a God that I do not believe in. Oh, I’m not saying I don’t believe in God. I’m saying I do not believe in a punitive God. I do not believe in an eternal hell for those who do not believe, or those who choose “their own way.”

    I believe in a God that is far more real than a set of rules, or a God that has designed a good / evil path for humanity.

    My hope for Matt is that some day he will find the courage and the faith in God’s goodness to end the struggle and accept himself for who he is. Regardless of what he may choose to do with accepting himself, without accepting himself, he will likely continue to go back and forth without finding the settling peace of the reality of his life. The truth will truly set us free.

  4. eileen says:

    Hi John,

    I honestly don’t know what to say about what you have written. In reading your words, you are clearly believing in a god made in your own image and it makes me incredibly sad and I really do fear for you.

    We can agree/disagree until the cows come home, but all I can do is to hope and pray that the truth you had once known will once again become clear to you.

    As I read Matt’s blog, I can only say that his faith is obviously based on solid ground, solid truth. It is grounded and it is real.

    And I can say this because I know personally, that when you truly fall in love with Jesus Christ, EVERYTHING else pales in comparison, and you begin to see how temporary this life really is, and that there is NOTHING we can desire this side of eternity that compares with that reality. Matt has found true, saving faith, and I would hope the same for you.

    I am speaking as someone who married just prior to becoming a Christian. I KNEW that I was marrying the wrong man. After my conversion, I was determined to honor my vow, knowing that I would never know the joy and happiness of marital love in my life.

    After 25 years, my husband, who had never come to faith in Christ, finally left for “greener pastures”.

    I have since chosen to live out the remainder of my life as a single, celibate woman, again, knowing that the kind of human relationship that I had longed for my entire life would never be mine to experience. Yet I do not grieve it, because like Matt, I have found that my Lord and Savior is more than enough.

    I believe He has given me the grace to walk this path because I have chosen to put Him first. Not because I feel that God is twisting my arm, but as I’ve come to know Him, and then to love Him so much.

    I KNOW that nothing else could satisfy as He does. Is it my cross to bear? In many ways, certainly. But it is He who is actually carrying that cross for me, as he would for anyone who chooses Him above all else, and I find far more joy in knowing I am taking Him at His Word and doing my best to follow after him than any pleasure I can attain from anyone or anything else.

    I also know that the certainty of spending eternity with Him is of far more worth than any earthly pleasure I may gain from this very fleeting, very temporary life. And I am not willing to gamble that away.

    My prayer is that you would truly come to KNOW Him and to LOVE Him to a degree that nothing else matters more than He does in your life.

    There is a picture in my mind, and it is in most ways absolutely horrible. It’s the recent picture of those Egyptian men lined up on their knees, willingly going to their death because the KNEW their Savior and their life here on earth was worth the sacrifice. Now THAT is courage. And I am grieved for those who cling to temporary earthly desires that distance or turn them away from really following the Lord, for there will be an eternal result that cannot and will not be undone.

    I can only pray that you will consider this and sincerely seek the Lord and His will for you, because believe me, regardless of what you have come to believe, only the real Truth can set you free.



Leave a Reply