Hey Gay People. Its Official. Change IS Possible.

A post by Neil Hart on homosexuality, LGBT, lesbian and gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.

I don’t think that our church understands how truly horrible the consequences of its misguided, ungodly teaching on homosexuality really is. I don’t think they understand the implications of the life sentence they unnecessarily and cruelly place upon the LGBT people in its care.

Those who suffer most are the young people.

Stuart Mathis was a Mormon but he could just as easily have been a member of the Lutheran Church of Australia.

In his suicide note he wrote…

 “The church has no idea that as I type this letter, there are surely boys and girls on their callused knees imploring God to free them from this pain. They hate themselves. They retire to bed with their fingers pointed to their heads in the form of a gun. I am now free. I am no longer in pain and I no longer hate myself. As it turns out, God never intended for me to be straight. Perhaps my death might be a catalyst for some good.”

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation used Stuarts suicide note as inspiration behind a booklet untitled “Finally Free”. The booklet is a compilation of stories of how some people overcame their torment and went on to live healthy, productive lives as “out” gay men and lesbians. In dedicating “Finally Free” to Stuart Mathis, the writers hoped to help him achieve his final wish of accomplishing “some good.”

The same message was wonderfully presented in this youtube clip.

When this first hit our screens early last year Alan Chambers the head of Exodus International was quick to condemn it. Exodus is a fundamentalist Christian organisation that advances the idea that gay people can be cured. This concept has been roundly condemned as psychologically damaging by all relevant health authorities. Past leaders and even the founders of the organisation have publicly apologised for the harm they have done to gay people through their work in Exodus.

Alan Chambers

Anyway, Alan Chambers objected to the ad because it used everyone’s favourite cowboy (and my avatar bedfellow), Woody, to help present its life affirming message.

So far everything is running perfectly according to script…

Then something strange happened. Something changed.

5 months after his initial objection, Alan Chambers retracted his complaint.

 “I have to admit that I was wrong to question their marketing strategy without expressing my full support for what is the heart of their campaign – encouraging LGBT teens to choose life.”

Then, remarkably and somewhat courageously Chambers volunteered to be a part of a panel discussion at the Gay Christian Networks annual conference in January this year. (Rumours that he faced a picture of Ceasar and said…“ we who are about to die salute you“…immediately before moving out in front of the audience are probably unfounded.) Anyway, the discussion was remarkably honest and Chambers surprised everyone when he admitted that…

“…the majority of people that I have met, and I would say the majority meaning 99.9% of them, have not experienced a change in their orientation.”

Wow! I mean….Wow!

The next surprise occurred a few weeks later when Exodus announced that they had removed all Reparative Therapy books from their online bookstore. Reparative Therapy is the name given to a particular type of therapy that attempts to make gay kids straight.

Then Exodus made a surprise statement regarding a bill that has been progressing through Californias legal system. The bill would ban licensed therapists from providing Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) to minors.  Exodus stated…

“we do not subscribe to therapies that make changing sexual orientation a main focus or goal.”

The apparently-new Exodus was even evident at their recent Annual Conference. The motto for Exodus and these conferences has always been… “ Change Is Possible“.. and their marketing paraphernalia has carried the slogan. This year the slogan was noticable by its absence.

So, Reader, mark your calender. 2012 may not prove to be the year that the world ends but it may well be the year that Exodus admits that, for gay people, change is neither possible nor desirable.

Maybe we shouldnt be surprised. Maybe Exodus is just beginning to grow into its name. I started this post by talking about Stuart Mathis and his quest for freedom. Well, the Biblical story of Exodus is all about freedom. Maybe Exodus International have started their journey away from the oppression and indignity of Egypt to the promised land where people are free to celebrate who God made them to be.

So! If Exodus International can change that much in just one year…anything is possible.

Hey gay LCA teens! Hey gay pastors and teachers! Change is possible. Its happening. It WILL get better!