Courage UK (originally named Courage Trust), was founded in February 1988 by Jeremy Marks as a Christian ministry to the gay and lesbian community. This was a pioneering ministry in the UK, where few in the Church had ever reached out to try and understand gay people. The group was originally affiliated with the ex-gay movement and was once a member of Exodus International, but as of 2002, the organization abandoned those views and its affiliation with the ex-gay movement.
The membership of Courage UK in 2006 has been stated to be about 150 men.
Courage UK bears no affiliation to Courage International, a Roman Catholic ex-gay organization.
By 2000, Jeremy Marks and the leadership of Courage UK recognised a change was needed. The expectation of the ex gay teaching did not equal the results they saw. The teaching that gay people must get into a heterosexual relationship or remain celibate now seemed questionable to Marks. This was not only from an experiential viewpoint, but also from a theological change.
At the heart of the new direction is a fundamental shift in the interpretation of the Bible's teaching on homosexuality - both orientation and practice. Courage has remained careful to balance its new position with the fundamental Christian doctrine of freedom of conscience. For those who feel the practice of homosexuality is forbidden there remains acceptance and support. While for those who feel that God would honour an intimate relationship they too find acceptance and support. At the heart of the change is the Creation Ordinance that man should not be alone, and the belief that a loving Creator God would not exclude His homosexual children of this companionship.
In 2001, Jeremy Marks wrote in the journal Lesbian and Gay Christians, "I have come to the conclusion that we have been quite wrong to dismiss all same sex love (other than platonic) as sinful."
Marks' comments on the Courage UK website clarify the group's change of course:
A Change of Heart is the Priority
While recognising the social pressure to become 'normal' (i.e. heterosexual), fifteen years experience revealed that God's primary concern is not to change the sexual orientation of his gay and lesbian disciples, but to help them find wholeness in Christ - becoming secure, assured of his love and acceptance, set apart to follow Jesus faithfully and responsible in building relationships with one another.
'I Was Always Struck by Her Dignity and Courage' UK & WORLD NEWS Mother, 57, of Damilola Dies of Heart Attack
Apr 10, 2008; Byline: Chris Greenwood TRIBUTES were paid last night to the mother of stabbed schoolboy Damilola Taylor who died suddenly after...