Eleven affiliated ministries have quit Exodus International in protest over President Alan Chambers' announcement that the group would no longer support “ex-gay” therapy.

According to The New York Times, Chambers has been criticized for shifting the group from promoting so-called reparative or conversion therapy to emphasizing how gay Christians can manage their same-sex attractions. For some gays that could mean celibacy.

Only a few years ago, Exodus promoted the therapy in advertisements featuring Chambers and his wife, Leslie, along with the slogan, “Change is possible.”

Chambers now calls such claims “bizarre.”

“I do not believe that cure is a word that is applicable to really any struggle, homosexuality included,” Chambers told the AP. “For someone to put out a shingle and say, 'I can cure homosexuality' – that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth.”

Gregg Quinlan, president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), a support group for “ex-gays,” is among Chambers' critics.

“I think Mr. Chambers is tired of his own personal struggles, so he's making excuses for them by making sweeping generalizations about others,” Quinlan told the Times.

Robert Gagnon, who writes about homosexuality and the Bible, has called on Chambers to resign.

Exodus' move comes as “ex-gay” therapy comes under increasing assault. For example, lawmakers in California are looking at outlawing the practice in certain situations. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) last month filed its first lawsuit against a physician accused of attempting to alter the sexuality of a gay man without his consent. And Dr. Robert Spitzer has apologized for his own 2001 study which concluded that highly-motivated gay people could alter their sexuality.

David Pruden, chief operating officer with the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), insisted the treatment works.

“To hold out the idea that one's homosexual attractions can diminish, that the possibility of heterosexual attractions coming forth over a period of time – those things are possible,” he told the AP.

Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out, a group opposed to the “ex-gay” movement, countered that “the notion that one can change is the centerpiece of the religious right's argument for denying us rights.”