L.A. Now Live: Reactions to Exodus International shutting down

Exodus International President Alan Chambers makes an introduction during an Exodus conference at Concordia University Center in Irvine.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

The head of Exodus International -- billed as the world’s largest “gay conversion” Christian group -- said it was time for the organization to shut down because of changing attitudes toward homosexuality.

The Florida-based ministry announced it was closing its doors Wednesday night, a day after Chambers apologized in a statement to members of the gay community for “years of undue judgment by the organization and the Christian church as a whole.”

Join us at 9 a.m. as we discuss how both the LGBT and Christian communities are responding to Exodus International’s announcement with Times reporters Kate Mather and Anh Do.

“I believe we’ve come to a time in the church when it’s time to lay our weapons down,” Alan Chambers said at an Irvine conference. “We fought the culture and we’ve lost. But I think we’ve lost for a good reason because it’s time for peace.”


Months ahead of the announcement that Exodus International would close, the controversial Christian ministry’s leader expressed doubts about the group’s mission.

In an interview published Wednesday by the Orlando Sentinel, journalist and TV host Lisa Ling discussed an upcoming “Our America With Lisa Ling” show on religion and homosexuality in which she interviews Chambers.

Ling told the Sentinel that Chambers concluded months ago that “if someone professes to love God, they will have a place in heaven. He said 99% of people cannot change sexual orientation.”

Critics of the ministry, which for years boasted that homosexuals could find a righteous path in a heterosexual lifestyle, pointed to Chambers’ own admission that “99.9%” of the people the ministry, including himself, still have homosexual urges.