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Spitzer's Apology Changes 'Ex-Gay' Debate

Dr. Robert Spitzer's research was widely cited by those who conduct conversion therapy as proof that it worked. Dr. Spitzer says his findings were misinterpreted, and apologized. The American Psychological Association has said there is no evidence that it's possible to change sexual orientation.

After our show, NPR reached out to Exodus International for a statement. The full text of that response follows.

Exodus International is not a reparative therapy organization. Exodus is a gospel-centric organization that seeks first to equip the Church to be the primary outreach to and support for individuals and families impacted by same-sex attraction and secondly, through the 260 organizations under our umbrella, a support community for individuals and families.

We believe there are numerous factors that contribute the formation of one's sexuality. As Christians our belief about human sexuality is that God created it for a purpose and speaks clearly about that purpose in the Bible. We believe that any sexual expression outside of heterosexual monogamous marriage falls outside of God's creative intent.

We do not believe that same-sex attraction in and of itself is sinful. Many Christians, whether same-sex attracted or opposite sex attracted, choose celibacy when heterosexual marriage is not an option or a reality. And, yet, heterosexual marriage has proven to be a wonderful reality for some who experience same-sex attraction and who have experienced marked changes within their emotional, physical and sexual desire for the opposite sex regardless of any lingering same-sex attractions.

To that end, researchers such as Dr. Robert Spitzer, and research findings may come and go. As one who participated in Dr. Spitzer's study I believe that it simply highlighted the fact that we, as a society, should respect a person's right to self determine their course of action when it comes to how they choose to live out their sexual expression. Dr. Spitzer's study also highlighted a group of people who have chosen to believe that the bible is unchanging concerning human sexual behavior, including homosexuality. For that, we are grateful.

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