Dangers of gay conversion

My first encounter with gay conversion or gay reparative therapy (GRT) was the day I finally summoned the courage to ask a friend about the cluster of scars on his wrists.

‘Gary’ explained that when he was 15, his parents took him to a place called Exodus International where a group leader would try to persuade participants of what an awful life they would have if they were gay’. His parents rushed him to the centre after finding gay porn in his room. He was so upset by the experience he later took to his wrist with a razor.

Gary was just 15; legally not even an adult.

Late last month California’s state Assembly approved a bill prohibiting children and teenagers from undergoing GRT. The legislation prevents licensed psychologists and therapists from seeking to change the sexual orientation of children under 18.

But in Australia GRT of minors is unregulated — there are no age restrictions or safeguards for minors entering an ex-gay ministry. About ten ex-gay Christian ministries around the nation offer GRT counselling.

In an ex-gay ministry, often run out of a church-run function centre or cafe, homosexual attraction is treated like an addiction. Participants are given a range of techniques to help them deal with the ‘affliction’. Group members have individual counselling sessions and meet in small groups to discuss the ‘struggles’ they have had that week in containing their urges — often to be told ‘God forgives your sins’ by the layperson who runs the group.

GRT is not recommended by any secular health organisation. Continue reading

Image: Stephen’s Liberal Journal

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