There’s a sly production moment, a flash of informed camerawork, during a remarkable 2013 special on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, “Our America with Lisa Ling: Special Report: God and Gays,” (still on YouTube). A look of disbelief caught in frame.
Former reparative-therapy icon Alan Chambers, in full-court apology mode with wife Leslie at his side (they married in 1998 and have two daughters), tries to make sense of more than a decade of heading up conversion-therapy church Exodus International, which was located in Central Florida, with a mea culpa. He was wrong, he says, as he stares into the faces of a gathered gaggle of former patients (for lack of a better word). He came to OWN to sit in front of that jury who, he says, haven’t had their fair shake in contributing to the conversation on his “side” of the argument, which, of course, is the side of the Christian right. It’s a weak apology, really, one that came only a couple of months after his notorious public statement, and the subsequent statement from the Exodus camp, that the ministry was over. It was all a big mistake, apparently. The same message that was sent to the victims of Exodus at their most vulnerable stages of development, he now admits.
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