Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Formal Public Apology by John Paulk, a Former "ex-gay" Leader

Of related interest:

See Rev. Steve Parelli's paper Is There Really Such A Thing As 'Ex-gay'?

Date:  Wed Apr 24 12:00:51 2013
Subject: A Formal Public Apology by John Paulk

I am passing along a statement by John Paulk, a former advocate of the ex-gay movement and conversion therapy and author. He was the founder and former leader of the ministry Love Won Out which was launched by the organization Focus on the Family.
The purpose of his statement is to apologize and renounce his involvement
in the 'ex-gay' movement. Full statement below my signature.
Any further media inquiries can be directed to

Ross Murray
Director of News and Faith Initiatives


john paulk
John Paulk, onetime poster boy for ex-gays (photo source)

A Formal Public Apology
by John Paulk

For the better part of ten years, I was an advocate and spokesman for
what's known as the ex-gay movement, where we declared that sexual
orientation could be changed through a close-knit relationship with God,
intensive therapy and strong determination. At the time, I truly believed
that it would happen. And while many things in my life did change as a
Christian, my sexual orientation did not.

So in 2003, I left the public ministry and gave up my role as a spokesman
for the "ex-gay movement." I began a new journey. In the decade since, my
beliefs have changed. Today, I do not consider myself "ex-gay" and I no
longer support or promote the movement. Please allow me to be clear: I do
not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation; in fact,
it does great harm to many people.

I know that countless people were harmed by things I said and did in the
past.  Parents, families, and their loved ones were negatively impacted by
the notion of reparative therapy and the message of change. I am truly,
truly sorry for the pain I have caused.

From the bottom of my heart I wish I could take back my words and actions
that caused anger, depression, guilt and hopelessness. In their place I
want to extend love, hope, tenderness, joy and the truth that gay people
are loved by God.

Today, I see LGBT people for who they are--beloved, cherished children of
God. I offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology to men, women, and
especially children and teens who felt unlovable, unworthy, shamed or
thrown away by God or the church.

I want to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who encouraged me to take
this initial step of transparency. Even while promoting "ex-gay" programs,
there were those who called me on my own words and actions. I'm sure I
didn't appreciate it at the time, but they have helped me to realize this
truth about who I am.

This is a life transition that has been and will continue to be,
challenging. Sadly, my marriage of 20 years is in the process of ending. I
want to take the time to make sure my next actions come from a place of
truth and authenticity. Therefore, I'm drastically limiting my public
engagement until my own personal life can be settled. After that I eagerly
anticipate giving back to the community.

Finally, I know there are still accounts of my "ex-gay" testimony out
there being publicized by various groups, including two books that I wrote
about my journey. I don't get any royalties from these publications, and
haven't since I left the ministry nearly ten years ago. I discourage
anyone from purchasing and selling these books or promoting my "ex-gay"
story because they do not reflect who I am now or what I believe today.

John Paulk


1 comment:

Rollan McCleary said...

The pity is that even with this important statement Paulk offers no theological basis on which to promote his new opinion. What has gay theology been doing for years?

For a start why not clarify that "eunuch" was a term by Jesus' time not necessarily meaning either castrate or celibate but covering for different and loosely sometimes for the non biblical word "homosexuality". And Jesus said some were "born" this way.

Some of us qualified to speak on these issues have been almost studiously ignored for years for our information or warnings.
See You Tube:

"Gay... Christians, Marriage, Jesus?"