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John Smid: Former leader of US ‘gay cure’ group has just married a man

John Smid has been living as openly gay for several years, having abandoned the group in 2008

Jon Stone
Thursday 20 November 2014 10:20 GMT
A protester waves a rainbow flag at a protest in support of gay rights.
A protester waves a rainbow flag at a protest in support of gay rights. (Getty)

The former leader of an American group that claimed it could stop people being attracted to those of the same sex has married his male partner.

John Smid has been openly gay for several years and has been in a relationship with his partner Larry McQueen for about a year.

Mr Smid, the executive director of the ‘Love in Action’ group from 1990 until 2008, said he had tried to deny his own sexuality but had come to the conclusion that it would not change.

“I’ve believed in faith that something was going to happen, and it never did, and so at my age, right now in my life, I don’t have that many good years left in me, and I can’t live like this for the rest of my life, so I said no I’m not willing to keep pushing after something that’s not going to happen," he told local US news outlet The Lone Star Q earlier this year.

In a Facebook announcement of the couple’s marriage over the weekend, Mr Smid said: "I gradually got to know [McQueen] over time until we reached a place in our lives that we saw we wanted to get to know one another through a dating relationship.

“As we dated we shared our vision for life, our personal philosophies, and our faith values. We found a compatibility that was comfortable and exciting.”

Mr Smid met McQueen three years ago, but they were just "acquaintances with common friends," he said. He concluded his marriage announcement with a heartfelt acknowledgement of previous “mistakes, shortcomings, and failures”.

"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,” he said.

“The reflection I see today with Larry shows me the positive things in my life, my strengths, gifts, and talents. I see how I can succeed at a mutual intimate and loving relationship. For this, I am truly grateful."

Love in Action caused a media storm in 2005 when it promoted a programme that it said could change the sexuality of children.

There were sustained protests against the organisation, which was founded in California. In March 2012 it changed its name to Restoration Path.

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