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What to Think About Anti-Gay Crusaders Who Now Say They're Sorry?

Exodus International's Alan Chambers, Ken Mehlman, and others like them have done serious damage to a righteous cause. Is an apology enough?
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Paris Gay Pride parade to support gay rights, on June 26, 2010. (PHOTO: OLGA BESNARD/SHUTTERSTOCK)

Paris Gay Pride parade to support gay rights, on June 26, 2010. (PHOTO: OLGA BESNARD/SHUTTERSTOCK)

Big week in the media for repentant anti-gay activists. Exodus International, the world's biggest Christian ministry claiming to "cure" people of homosexuality, announced that they are closing down and apologized "to the gay community for years of undue suffering and judgment at the hands of the organization and the Church as a whole."

Exodus president Alan Chambers admits to his own "ongoing same-sex attraction," and writes:

I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. ... I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. ... I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.

Meanwhile, today's New York Times features a piece on former George W. Bush consigliere Ken Mehlman, who supported his boss' call for a federal ban on gay marriage but has since come out of the closet, apologized, and become an active supporter of same-sex rights, including marriage.

Call me un-Christian (you'd be correct), but I'm having a hard time just letting bygones be bygones. These are people who have done serious damage to a righteous cause, and in the case of Exodus at least, may have helped cause actual physical and mental harm to individuals. Now they get to just apologize and move on? Without even some Ted Haggard-style repentance?

Still, of course, this is all good and welcome news. Here's hoping the Supreme Court is paying attention.