Box Turtle Bulletin points out today that Latter Day Saint ex-gay group Evergreen International is merging with North Star International, a group less focused on change of orientation and more geared to living in alignment with LDS teaching. This is a significant development in that North Star has not supported reparative therapy or efforts to change orientation. The merger will not change that approach, according to a statement on the North Star website:
Recognizing the uniqueness of individual circumstance, North Star reaffirms that, with the incorporation of the Evergreen organization, it will continue to take no official position on the origin or mutability of homosexual attractions or gender identity incongruence.
The English language Evergreen website
is being “rebuilt” will eventually forward to the North Star site.* The website now has a link to SameSexAttraction.org. SameSexAttraction.org is managed by Larry Richman’s Century Publishing company. Richman is the go to person for Latter Day Saint social media and web presence and was once chair of Evergreen’s board.
Apparently Evergreen International Director David Pruden will not make the switch but will remain at the helm of NARTH. I reached out to Pruden for comment but he did not return my email.
From my vantage point, it appears that the change paradigm has suffered another blow with this merger. Over the past decade, evangelical outreach to GLBT people has moved from trying to get gays to change to offering support to evangelical gays in their efforts to live in alignment with traditional teaching, what I have called the congruence paradigm. With this merger, it appears that LDS ministries are moving in the same direction.
*North Star president Ty Mansfield informed me that the Evergreen and SSAVoice websites will be owned by North Star and and will forward to their site.