A man who once claimed to have been ‘cured’ of his sexuality has formally apologized for the harm he has caused, adding he is still gay.
John Paulk, the former chairman of Exodus International and founded the ‘Focus On The Family’, has released a statement renouncing his ‘ex-gay’ past.
‘For the better of ten years, I was an advocate and spokesman for what’s known as the “ex-gay movement”’ said Paulk, ‘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.’
He added: ‘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,’ Paulk continued.
‘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.’
Paulk’s statement confirms his 20-year-long marriage to an ‘ex-gay’ woman, Anne, is now ending.
In 1999, the former couple wrote a book called ‘Love Won Out: How God’s Love Helped Two People Leave Homosexuality and Find Each Other’.
When the book was released, he appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America and on the cover of Newsweek.
A couple of years later, he was photographed in Washington gay bars and lost his job for his hypocrisy.
Paulk says he will now leave the public eye and return once he can give back to the community, which he has started doing by donating to AIDS advocacy groups.
The American Psychological Association went on the record in 1975 stating homosexuality is not an illness. It now views ‘gay cure’ practices as ‘inappropriate, unethical and inhumane’.