Note: In fairness to Exodus, I have changed my references to “abuse” to “misconduct.”
Peterson Toscano, a survivor of the ex-gay live-in ministry Love In Action, announced today that Exodus International president Alan Chambers has failed to act publicly to protect youths in an Exodus member program after Chambers was informed of three confirmed cases of misconduct involving youth in the year preceding June 26, 2006.
On June 26, 2006 I initially left voice messages for Alan Chambers of Exodus International and another national ex-gay leader about inappropriate incidents that affected youth at an Exodus member ministry. I will not go into the details at this time, but I shared three specific situations that happened within the previous year. The shocking details of the third situation compelled me to contact Alan and this other national leader. In my initial messages I said that I would rather discuss this privately, but if they did not wish to talk, then I would initiate a public discussion.
Conveying a tone of apathy, Chambers told Ex-Gay Watch last month that “I imagine the list of standards will be public on our website come January.”
But they’re not.
Exodus’ inaction raises some questions that are brutally straightforward:
- Why is Exodus stalling with the safety of ex-gay youth, even after misconduct is known to have occurred?
- Why were no standards effected and publicly disclosed before Exodus programs began to admit underage youths? Were abusive practices viewed as a legitimate means of scaring youths straight?
- Why do these programs — some of them being live-in treatment facilities — remain unlicensed and staffed by persons with no professional training in psychiatry or psychotherapy?