(Reuters)—A Christian group that once promoted therapy to encourage gays and lesbians to overcome their sexual preferences has closed its doors and apologized to homosexuals, acknowledging its mission had been hurtful and ignorant.
Exodus International billed itself as the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality, operating since 1976. It announced it would cease operations in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
The Irvine, California-based group's board unanimously voted to close Exodus International and begin a separate ministry, the statement said.
"I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have experienced," President Alan Chambers said in a statement. "I am sorry some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt when your attractions didn't change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents."