Alan Chambers, the president of the “ex-gay” group Exodus International, is being criticized for announcing that his group would no longer support therapies aimed at “curing” gay and lesbian people.

Chambers last month announced that he was shifting Exodus' mission from promoting so-called reparative or conversion therapy to emphasize 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.”

Linda Harvey, the founder of the Columbus, Ohio-based Mission America and a frequent contributor to the conservative website, lashed out at Chambers for admitting that changing a person's sexual orientation was not possible.

“For one, Chambers has said he doesn't believe a person can change his or her so-called sexual orientation. Now, there's not anything like this invented term called 'sexual orientation' in Scripture in the first place, but then he also says that he still struggles himself with sexual feelings for other males. This shows very poor judgment as the leader of this ministry to, first of all, be experiencing this and secondly, to announce it to the whole world,” Harvey told her radio listeners.

“Of course a person can leave homosexuality; there are thousands of people who have done it and God's word clearly states that he can deliver us from sin. And the proud, open sinner who is publicly proclaiming it as good in defiance of God's word? It is highly questionable that such a person is saved.”

“We would not be making this exception for well-adjusted adulterers would we? How about a compassionate pedophile? What about incest like two brothers involved in homosexuality? Why not just defy God's word on this?” she added.

Gay activist Dan Savage, a co-founder of the It Gets Better project, also weighed in on Chambers' change of heart.

“So we've gone from Boys in the Band to Stonewall through forty years of the gay rights movement and forty years of an anti-gay backlash funded by the religious right and twenty years of an ex-gay 'movement' that promised 'freedom from homosexuality' only to arrive right back where we started: Alan Chambers is a sad and pathetic man,” Savage wrote in a blog post.