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Ministry for ex-gays ousts chairman

Posted: Friday, October 13, 2000

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- A man who said he left homosexuality and encouraged others to do so has been removed as board chairman of a Christian group because he visited a gay bar.

Exodus North America, a Seattle-based alliance of ministries that believe gays can become heterosexual, announced it had dumped John Paulk as chairman because he visited a Washington, D.C., gay bar last month and lied about it.

Exodus director Bob Davies said Paulk had damaged the credibility of the ''ex-gay'' movement and deserved punishment that balanced compassion with justice. Paulk will remain an Exodus board member but on probationary status.

In Colorado Springs, Paulk will keep his job as director of the homosexual and gender issues division of Focus on the Family, a Christian ministry based here, Focus president James Dobson said.

Dobson said Paulk probably would have been fired if he had ''re-entered the homosexual lifestyle instead of toying with it.'' Dobson said Paulk was putting a ''toe in the water.''

Paulk, 37, gained national attention for saying he abandoned homosexuality for Christianity and became a husband and father. His wife is a self-described ex-lesbian.

On Sept. 19, a homosexual activist recognized Paulk at a Washington gay bar. Paulk said he was looking for a restroom, didn't know it was a gay bar, and when he figured that out he stayed out of curiosity. But Davies said Paulk later admitted he knew he was entering a gay bar, though he was not seeking gay sex.

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On the Net: www.exodusnorthamerica.org



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