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Are views on ex-gay therapy changing with Exodus International shakeup?

By Hollani Davis, hdavis@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jun 27 2013 06:15:22 PM EDT

Last week there was a bombshell announcement when the president of the oldest and largest religious group that preached reparative therapy said same-sex attractions, including his, don't go away

ROANOKE, Va. -

Many have long said it can't be done. Taking someone who's gay and making them straight. But last week there was a bombshell announcement when the president of the oldest and largest religious group that preached reparative therapy said same-sex attractions, including his, don't go away.

"I think it probably provides validation. It might boost our self esteem a little bit to have others acknowledge what we've seen all along," says Richard Sifton, with Roanoke's Diversity Center.

But just because the head of Exodus International is changing his message, doesn't mean everyone is.

We met Christopher Doyle and his family two years ago at their home in Northern Virginia. Not only does he say a specific type of therapy changed him from gay to straight, he's trained to help others overcome same sex attraction. On Wednesday by phone he told us the key to change happens not through prayer which is what Exodus preached, but through scientific and psychotherapy.

"When someone does that and they really do their physiotherapeutic work, they do change. Not everyone does and not everyone changes completely, but they do experience change on a continuum," says Doyle.

Exodus International is not disappearing all together. It still has many affiliates and some believe it and groups like it will get an even bigger boost and infusion of cash to keep carry out their mission.