WATCH: 'Hardball' on the 'Ex-Gay' Movement

Host Chris Matthews and guests Wayne Besen and Laura Berman are glad the movement's diminishing.

BY Trudy Ring

June 22 2013 3:28 PM ET

Chris Matthews (left) with Wayne Besen and Laura Berman on Hardball

MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews had gay activist Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out and psychotherapist Laura Berman as guests Friday to discuss the shutdown of Exodus International and the harm done by so-called reparative therapy, aimed at turning gay people straight.

Both the host and his guests denounced such therapy as wrongheaded and harmful, and lauded the progress toward LGBT equality in the U.S., which much remains to be done. “Today, it’s gone beyond tolerance to acceptance,” said Matthews. Added Besen: “Equality is an unstoppable train.” See video of the segment below.

Meanwhile, Exodus leader Alan Chambers, who has apologized for promoting reparative therapy, told The Christian Science Monitor, in an article published Saturday, that the successor organization to Exodus will offer a place “where people can come together who have different opinions, and different worldviews, to talk about really complex issues,” such as bullying and harassment.

Exodus’s renunciation of reparative therapy hasn’t set well with all conservative Christians, and some continue to endorse it. “The ex-gay movement has nothing to apologize for,” said Peter Sprigg of the antigay Family Research Council in a statement to the Monitor. “The message that ‘change is possible’ is a modest one. It does not mean that change is easy, nor that change is mandatory. But to apologize for saying ‘change is possible’ is to deny both human freedom and the transforming power of the gospel of Christ.”

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