“Ex-Gay” Leader Formally Apologizes

“For the better part of ten years, I was an advocate and spokesman for what’s known as the ‘ex-gay movement,’ where we declared that sexual orientation could be changed through a close-knit relationship with God, intensive therapy and strong determination. At the time, I truly believed that it would happen. And while many things in my life did change as a Christian, my sexual orientation did not.

“So in 2003, I left the public ministry and gave up my role as a spokesman for the ‘ex-gay movement.’ I began a new journey. In the decade since, my beliefs have changed. Today, I do not consider myself ‘ex-gay’ and I no longer support or promote the movement. Please allow me to be clear: I do not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation; in fact, it does great harm to many people. I know that countless people were harmed by things I said and did in the past.

“Parents, families, and their loved ones were negatively impacted by the notion of reparative therapy and the message of change. I am truly, truly sorry for the pain I have caused. From the bottom of my heart I wish I could take back my words and actions that caused anger, depression, guilt and hopelessness. In their place I want to extend love, hope, tenderness, joy and the truth that gay people are loved by God.” – John Paulk, in a statement released to GLAAD.

RELATED: Last week’s statement by Paulk, in which he claimed his “ex-gay” message had been “misconstrued,” was not very well received.  Hit that link for much more about his back story and role in creating the “ex-gay movement.”