A psychologist and one-time Exodus* counsellor has told the Brisbane Times, Australia, has denounced the ex-gay movement, saying he walked away 25 years ago because it forced gay men into “living an even greater lie” that hurt themselves and their families.

Paul Martin, now an equal rights activist and head of the Centre for Human Potential in Brisbane, spoke out after Queensland Member of Parliament Fiona Simpson was criticized for her ex-gay views. The politician had lent public support to Exodus in 2002, praising the organization for giving homosexuals “the freedom to grow into homosexuality over time.”

Here are Paul Martin’s own words, from the Brisbane Times article:

“We’d parade men who went through the program and got married around like they were champions, and they’d all say their lives were better since they committed to God and enjoyed the sort of relationship God intended – with a woman, having children,” Mr Martin said. “But you’d then have a conversation where they admitted their lives were far more painful now they were living this even greater lie – they were burdened with guilt because they were hurting the woman they were married to, or engaging in desperate sex acts in public toilets or bushes that were even further from their belief system [than committed same-sex relationships].”

Mr Martin said such interactions, coupled with his own struggle to meld his fundamental Christian beliefs with his homosexual orientation, eventually gave rise to his decision to walk away from the ministry, its church, and move to Brisbane.

Read the full article here. An accompanying video features an interview with Paul Martin.

* Exodus Global Alliance is the worldwide branch of (the confusingly named) Exodus International.

Correction: Fiona Simpson was incorrectly identified as “Australia’s Community Services Minister” in an earlier version of this article.

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