Texas church tried to ‘cure’ gay men of homosexuality
A Texas church allegedly tried to ‘cure’ men struggling with their sexuality, it has been revealed.
Earlier this month we shared the story of gay Dallas resident Jason Thomas , who was ejected from his church for his “desire to actively participate in a same-sex relationship”.
Mr Thomas, who was ejected from Watermark Community Church a year ago, has now opened up more about his experiences – revealing the church tried to “cure” his homosexuality.
In a piece for the Dallas Morning News, he recalled: “[In the church] I met a man who has become a dear friend. He shared with me that he was gay and trying to change his orientation to heterosexuality, and he encouraged me to open up to several others.
“I connected with programs designed to help gay church members, spent time with the gay success stories at Watermark, and read books about how to change my orientation.”
The church urged him to cut ties with his gay friends and stop playing volleyball.
He continued: “My new community group [at the church] urged me to attend Watermark’s 12-step program to overcome homosexuality, or ‘struggles’, as they put it. So I did.
“I felt hopeful that God would come in and save the day and remove my ‘struggles’. Then, I began to hate myself. I wanted so badly to change and yet, nothing came. I’d never felt so alone, sad and angry with God. Why wouldn’t he help me?
“For my own safety, I quit the program halfway through. I started dating a guy shortly after.”
However, the church did not take kindly to his new relationship – leading to his expulsion after he refused to continue with the gay ‘cure’ programme.
Mr Thomas added: “The group brought in church leadership due to my ‘rebellion’. Nine of them sat in a half circle across the room from me. They interrupted me, talked down to me, and accused me of not giving effort. And they removed me out from official church membership.
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“After getting kicked out, I was picked up by a couple of gay friends that I met at Watermark who’d also left or been pushed out the door. We are now a growing group of people connected to the Gay Christian Network.
“There are so many gay people who have been deeply hurt by the church. It is not uncommon to hear of suicide attempts from people who went through these similar experiences.
“We are people, we have feelings, desires, and morals just like everyone else. We desire to be loved just like everyone else. We deserve to be loved just like everyone else.”
In a reply to the Dallas News, the church claimed: “An individual’s formal relationship with us as a member is only changed when someone no longer desires to resist sin and refuses our help, care and encouragement.
“Even if someone’s formal membership status is removed, they are always welcome to attend Watermark and be reminded of the grace and truth of our savior Jesus Christ.”