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John Smid: Former ‘Pray The Gay Away’ Pastor Marries Same-Sex Partner

John Smid once claimed that his group Love in Action could help steer gay people away from their same-sex preferences, but now six years after leaving the group, Smid himself is ready to embrace his own sexuality, and has announced plans to marry his same-sex partner.

Smid led Love in Action for 18 years, leaving the organization in 2008. He was known for sermons against homosexuality, which he called “a sin.” But eventually Smid said he realized that he could not change himself, and instead decided to embrace his homosexuality

“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 U.S. news outlet the Lone Star Q.

Smid said his journey began in 1973, when he married a woman. After six years and two children together, Smid came out as gay and the two divorced. For several years, Smid lived as openly gay.

“I had several significant, short relationships over a four-year period,” Smid said. “What happened is, I started struggling with the relationships. It just seemed like the relationship commitments weren’t working, either on my side or somebody else’s side. It kind of went back and forth. I just got really depressed about that. That’s when I got connected to evangelical Christianity.”

As Smid became more involved in the evangelical world, he came to believe that being gay was a sin. He stopped dating men, and later re-married another woman (they would divorce in 2011).

But after leaving Love in Action — and still holding anti-gay views — Smid said began to meet with prominent gay Christians, and came to believe that being homosexual was not a sin.

This week, John Smid announced that he was marrying Larry McQueen, his same-sex partner.