Randy Thomas, the membership director of Exodus, spoke at a press conference by the promoters of a constitutional amendment in Florida to ensure that gay couples are not allowed the same rights as heterosexual couples. As reported by the Florida Baptist Witness:
Thomas, a former homosexual, said proponents of traditional marriage forced him to consider the legitimacy of homosexuality and “gay marriage,” which led to his departure from the homosexual lifestyle.
“I was not happy with the conservatives back in the 80’s, but what they did was they challenged me to dialogue,” he said.
Thomas affirmed the coalition’s repudiation of bigotry against homosexuals.
“We support a person’s right to self-determination. But we don’t want one person’s determination to affect all of us,” he added.
I have a few thoughts on Thomas’ statements and inclusion at the press conference.
First, to the best of my recollection, gay marriage was never mentioned back in the 80’s. There were no proponents of traditional marriage to force him to consider anything at all. This seems to be a newly concocted slant and frankly untrue.
Second, why is Thomas at a rally to make certain that gay couples have restricted rights? Thomas is the MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR of Exodus. Is Exodus actually trying to pretend that persons struggling with SSA are going to be drawn to Exodus by trying to stop them from marrying?
It is not by accident that the membership director for Exodus is actively involved in the restriction of rights to gay people. I think it highly likely that the membership that Exodus is seeking to attract is not gay people at all. If your target is actually gay people, this seems either counter-productive or, at best, as waste of time.
I can’t be certain, but it seems at least likely that Exodus is seeking a different type of membership, perhaps anti-gay individuals or organizations, either political or religious. These seem the likely audience reached by this sort of effort.
Third, Randy is claiming that “we” (presumably Exodus) supports self-determination. And yet when Randy was ministy manager for Exodus, in an article in Christianity Today he was quoted as warning that:
Randy Thomas, ministry manager for Exodus International, an Orlando-based ministry helping people leave homosexuality, said Lawrence will shape public policy.
“This ruling gives validity to the gay community,” Thomas said. In addition to potentially redefining the family, it further solidifies their position as a political and social force.”
Lawrence v. Texas was the Supreme Court decision that said that states could not criminalize gay people (i.e. it allowed them self-determination).
It seems very clear that Thomas has a truth deficit.