Six years after resigning as executive director of the ‘ex-gay’ group Love In Action, former ‘ex-gay’ leader John Smid has married another man in Oklahoma.
Smid married his partner Larry McQueen in Hugo, Oklahoma over the weekend, a 35 minute drive from their home across the border in Paris, Texas, and the couple held a wedding ceremony in Tulsa on Sunday.
It was only three years ago that Smid denounced attempts to cure people of their sexual orientation and came out as gay, having gone back into the closet in the 1980’s after becoming a Christian after living for several years as an openly gay man after his first marriage ended.
Smid became a leading figure in the international ‘ex-gay’ movement, marrying another woman and spending 11 years on the board of Exodus International – the leading ex-gay group that closed its doors after its president Alan Chambes apologized for the harm that it had caused in June of 2013.
Smid’s own ministry, Love In Action, gained notoriety in 2005 when a 16-year-old gay teen named Zach Stark, who was forced into ‘treatment’ with the group by his homophobic parents, began blogging about his experiences on the website Myspace.
That lead to public protests outside the group’s Memphis, Tennessee facility and a number of people who had been through its programs going public.
Smid has now married McQueen after divorcing his second wife in 2011 and moving to Texas to be with him a year ago.
‘I realized this week that my relationship with Larry is a mirror I see in every day,’ Smid posted on Facebook, announcing his marriage to McQueen.
‘For most of my life, the mirror I saw reflected my mistakes, shortcomings and failures. The reflection I see today with Larry shows me the positive things in my life, my strengths, gifts and talents. I see how I can succeed at a mutual intimate and loving relationship. For this, I am truly grateful.
‘At this time our federal government recognizes our legal marriage, our home state of Texas does not. However, we hope that Texas will soon accept our marriage as legitimate and legal.’
Smid has apologized repeatedly for his time as a leader in the ‘ex-gay’ movement and has reached out to those who were put through Love In Action’s programs personally to try to undo the damage that he has done.
He has since, along with other former leading figures from Exodus International, supported calls for so called ‘reparative therapies’ aimed at altering sexual orientation to be banned in the United States.
Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage was found to be unconstitutional by a US district court in February of this year but the state is still seeking to appeal the verdict.