US: Former ‘ex-gay’ leader gets married… to a man

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

The former director of an ‘ex-gay’ group, who claimed to have been cured of homosexuality, has married his same-sex partner.

John Smid served as the director of Love in Action, and for 11 years sat on the board of Christian ‘gay cure’ group Exodus International.

The former activist quit the group in 2008 and later apologised for his work, and has backed campaigns to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy outright.

This week, he announced that he had wed his same-sex partner, Larry McQueen.

The pair live in Paris, Texas, but married in neighbouring Oklahoma, as their own state maintains the same-sex marriage ban that Mr Smid himself once supported.

He told Towleroad: “I believe that due to my former notoriety, my marriage will definitely have its impact.

“I believe it is encouraging for other former ex-gays, and maybe even those who are still trying to hold on to their ex-gay belief system.

“We think our relationship reveals something very normal, not strange or deceptive gay stereotypes.

“We have come to realize that our marriage is very much the same as your average heterosexual marriage.”

He added: “I realized this week that my relationship with Larry is a mirror I see in every day.

“For most of my life, the mirror I saw reflected my mistakes, shortcomings and failures.

“The reflection I see today with Larry shows me the positive things in my life, my strengths, gifts and talents. ”

Mr Smid has been previously married twice to women, and had two children in the 1970s.