Begun in the 1970's, the ministry started as a coalition of various separate organisations that promoted celibacy and other changes in lifestyle for homosexuals. Two of their founders, Michael Bussee (who coined the term "ex-gay") and the late Gary Cooper (not the famous actor) fell in love with each other after founding the organisation and disowned it, calling it ineffective. They later had a marriage ceremony in 1982.
Exodus International take the viewpoint that homosexuality is a sin, and that homosexual behaviour is against God's will for humanity. They often promote the idea that homosexuality is caused by poor parenting or sexual abuse. As an explicitly religious organisation, many of their methods involve prayer as well as therapy. They believe that gay marriage should be illegal, and are against hate crime legislation to protect homosexuals, such as H.R. 1592.