Alan Chambers: President Obama is right to try to end Reparative Therapy for minors (RNS COMMENTARY)

Religion_News_Service_-_Coverage_of_religion__ethics_and_spirituality_from_around_the_globeToday Religion News Service asked me to weigh in on Reparative Therapy for minors. It is titled, “Alan Chambers: President Obama is right to try to end ex-gay therapy (COMMENTARY).” From the article:

I got married in 1998, and for more than 17 years have found it easy to be faithful to my wife. I am more in love with her today than ever before and enjoy every part of our amazing marriage. But it took me 20 years, 12 of which I served as the president of Exodus International — the world’s largest so-called ex-gay ministry — to realize my story is just that: my story.

While I am thankful for the ministry I went to for support — there was no other place for gay Christians to go in 1991 to admit the truth — I am sorry that they and I prescribed a one-size-fits-all story for every gay and lesbian person. I’m sorry we preached an incomplete gospel and wrongly told LGBTQ people they could and should do more to be acceptable to God. Doing so was deeply hurtful and damaging to many who never experienced the kind of change we thought possible.

For too long, same-sex attraction has been categorized as sinful and in need of repairing. Such stigma has caused LGBTQ people crippling shame and fear. As a child I experienced and as an adult I perpetuated that stigma. I profoundly regret my support for and promotion of reparative therapy.

And that’s why I stand with President Obama in calling for a ban on this practice for minors and for greater measures to protect adults seeking this niche therapeutic intervention.

Click here to read the full article which shares about my journey and explains more of my reasoning behind my agreement with President Obama.


  1. says

    Hello Allan, I´ve read almost all of your books and I got much help when one of my kids went this way. I am a bit confused though; you say that same sex atraction is not sin; I agree with you because is like temptation, but what about people who actually fall into it, people who will go further. Do you think having same sex relations is a sin? How can you explain Romans 1:20-27 or 1st. Corinthians 6:9-11? Thanks and God bless you.

    • says

      Hi Aroldo, as a minister I’m going to answer your question. (Mr Alan was busy answer TX mama.) Believe God word in faith and you right when you mention Romans 1:20-27 and 1st Corinthians 6:9-11. Yes having same sex relationships is a sin like is adultery, fornication and more. Keep preaching repentance, forgiveness and “GO SIN NO MORE” God bless you Aroldo!

      • says

        What kind of answer is this? At least let Alan answer. This is the type of misreading of the scriptures that perpetuates the idea that gays are somewhat flawed or incapable of forming loving committed relationships.

        • Irene C says

          What do you mean with “What kind of answer is this?” I answered with God’s truth The question clearly state “Do yo think having same sex relations is a sin?” this is a yes or no question. I could answered just with a YES and period instead I answer with God’s word which is the truth including that no only same sex relations are a sin but also adultery, fornication and MORE is sin. Stop loving the sin and love holiness which without NOBODY will see the Lord and I’m perfectly know what I’m talking about in every one of these topics. Repent and stop sending people in the path of hell.

  2. Deb Vinson says

    Precious Alan…I love you…that won’t change… and cannot personally support your platform. Your TX mama, Deb

  3. Kenny says

    Back in 1984 at the age of 16 and living in a rural town on the prairies, I trembled in fear as I approached my pastor. I had anonymously shared that I thought I was gay…and we agreed to meet. It was a meeting of grace, love and truth, but with little knowledge on both our parts, the answer given left me with more questions. I needed someone to help me navigate my faith and my sexuality. There were clear markers in my life where I had unmet need and affirmation. I struggled with gender, identity and my faith until I was 30 and I came out. Proud and gay! God made me, thus, I was not broken and I didn’t need to be fixed. Then at 38, I had an encounter with God which left me knowing, He had another way for me. I am thankful for ministries (though not classified as reparative therapy, but pretty close to it) who helped me navigate my life with Christ and to help point me to Christ who had the answers for my life. I am grateful beyond words for ministries that are still running that help those confused about their gender and identity and help them navigate how to honor God with their gender and sexuality, to know that in life there will be struggles that we will face, but in this submission to Christ, we grow and mature knowing that this doesn’t define us. I wonder what it would have been like for me had I had this ministry in my teens? I’m saddened to hear about what is transpiring in the whole realm of taking away places for support and ministry.

    • Tim W says

      What is now happening that less GLBT teens are being shamed for who they are. Less are being told they shouldn’t be who they are. Less are killing themselves. More are being embraced and loved by their families and are finding loving same sex relationships.

    • Alan Manning Chambers says

      Thanks for sharing your story, Kenny. I am thankful for some of the ministries helping adults navigate all of this, as well. I am also thankful and supportive of wise support for teens and families trying to walk this difficult path. My commentary wasn’t about any of those things. I am opposed to therapeutic methods aimed at changing sexual orientation in minors. I hope that is clear.

      I do have strong opinions about the majority of known “ex-gay” groups out there, but I do believe they also have a right to exist.

  4. says

    So if you want an end to reparative therapy, why are your books promoting it still in print? You don’t mind still making money off promoting it, despite your “apology”.

  5. says

    Alan, if you’re defending same sex relationships, marriage, you are in direct opposition to the Word of God.
    You are a very intelligent articulate man, and your use of words can be found to be very pursuasive.
    Same sex attraction is just that, an attraction. We need to ‘choose’ whatever attractions we engage. Just like their are many attractions to other behaviors, we choose to engage also.
    Attractions are not a sin we have committed, unless we endorse those that are harmful to the body, mind, soul and spirit.
    LGBT people are loved by God, so are all other people, undoubtedly.
    No argument with that.
    However, it is very clear in scripture what is acceptable to God’s heart.


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