Reaction To Ministry That Works To Help Gays Go Straight

WITN received an outpouring of comments in response to our story about a ministry that claims to help gays go straight.

We sat down to talk with two of the people who told us they do not believe these types of ministries work.

Aaron Lucier is an openly gay man from Greenville.

"I'd have to say that I really do believe that anything is possible through God, but at the same time, I also believe in a God that made me gay and made me as a person that is a homosexual, therefore I don't believe that God's going to be in the business of making that change."

Lucier says he is in a committed relationship with both his partner and God, a combination he feels goes against the belief of ministries that work to help homosexuals change their sexuality.

"Years of me thinking and working on it and praying about it and thinking about it over the years, until I've gotten to a point that my sexuality is not in conflict with my spirituality, and I'm in a very comfortable spot."

Reverend Ann Marie Alderman heads the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Greenville, which promotes the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The Reverend says ministries that help homosexuals change their sexuality send the wrong message.

"That you're either immoral on the outside of a faith community and can be free to do whatever you want to do or you have to change your orientation to be good."

Lucier and Reverend Alderman say they're against homosexual conversion therapy. They believe it perpetuates the idea that homosexuality is wrong and needs to be fixed.

"I believe homophobia is the sin," said the Reverend. "When we fear gay people just because they're gay, that's the sin we need to ask God to rid us of".

Both Lucier and Reverend Alderman were among dozens of people who responded to a story earlier this week on a man who claimed he was converted from gay to straight through prayer and ministry.

North Carolina minister Ron Elmore says he lived his life as a gay man for over 20-years. But, then through intense prayer and scriptures, Elmore says God changed him from homosexual to heterosexual.

Elmore said, "I didn't know why. I didn't choose to be homosexual."

Growing up in a North Carolina group home, Elmore says he started to engage in relationships with boys, to feel loved and accepted. But, he says his life as a openly gay man really began after he left the military at the age of 19.

According to Elmore, more relationships and drug abuse followed in the coming years until a co-worker spoke to elmore about his lifestyle.

He says, "And one day she walked up to me and very calmly and quietly said you need to go back to where your joy is."

Elmore says that meant a christ-filled life without homosexuality.

Elmore explains, "To follow christ and to say no to my behavior of homosexuality, um I really felt like I could live life differently that that's what God wanted, he wanted me to pursue him, not pursue men."

Today, Elmore is married to a woman and through his ministry, Beyond Imagination, a member minstry of the Exodus Church International, he makes it his life mission to help homosexuals longing to change.

Elmore said, "So people can say, you can't change and I say yes you can."