Nine former leaders of the 'ex-gay' movement on Thursday published a joint letter denouncing conversion therapy as “ineffective and harmful.”

Such therapies “profess to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to change or overcome their orientation or gender identity,” the letter reads. “The majority of those who practice this 'therapy' often do so with little or no formal psychological training, operating instead from a strict religious perspective believing homosexuality to be a 'sin.'”

“We once believed that sexual orientation or gender identity were somehow chosen or could be changed. We know better now.”

“Looking back, we were just believing (and sometimes teaching) what we had been taught – that our identity needed mending. We grew up being told that being LGBT was disordered, sick, mentally ill, sinful, and displeasing to God. We grew up being told that loving, same-sex relationships were shallow, lust-driven, deceived, disordered, and impossible.”

The letter was signed by Brad Allen, former church network coordinator for Exodus International; Darlene Bogle, founder and former director of Paraklete Ministries; Michael Bussee, co-founder of Exodus International; Catherine Chapman, former Women's Ministry director for the Portland Fellowship; Jeremy Marks, founder of Courage UK and Exodus Europe; Bill Prickett, founder and former executive director of Coming Back; Tim Rymel, former outreach director of Love in Action; Yvette Cantu Schneider, former executive director of Living in Victory Ministry and director of women's ministry for Exodus International; and John J. Smid, former executive director of Love In Action and board member for Exodus International.

Earlier this week, Schneider said in an interview that she questioned the therapy long before she left the movement.

“We now stand united in our conviction that conversion therapy is not “therapy,” but is instead both ineffective and harmful. We align ourselves with every major mainstream professional medical and mental health organization in denouncing attempts to change sexual orientation or gender identity. We admonish parents to love and accept your LGBT children as they are. We beseech the church to accept, embrace, and affirm LGBT persons with full equality and inclusion.”

“We join together in calling for a ban on conversion therapy,” the group added, before endorsing the National Center for Lesbian Rights' (NCLR) #BornPerfect campaign to end conversion therapy in five years.

“We are committed to protecting LGBT children and their families from the severe harms caused by these dangerous practices,” NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell said in a statement. “These practices have been thoroughly discredited by every major mental health organization, and yet, every day, young lives are wrecked. We intend to stop the practices once and for all.”