Victoria plans crackdown on quack Christian therapists

Victoria plans crackdown on quack Christian therapists May 17, 2018

An inquiry launched by Australia’s state of Victoria could soon see practitioners of ‘highly damaging’ gay conversion therapy being prosecuted. 
According to this report, Health Minister Jill Hennessy, above, has written to Health Complaints Commissioner Karen Cusack, requesting she investigate mainly religious practices which purport to “cure” homosexuality.
The minister said she was prompted to take action by a letter she received from:

A victim of the practices of so-called ‘gay conversion therapy’ and ‘ex-gay ideology’. Gay conversion therapy has been proven to be ineffective and highly damaging. Victims of the practice have displayed poor mental and physical health outcomes. Some have tragically lost their lives to suicide.

Cusack has the power to crack down on unregistered practitioners making unproven claims, including conversion therapy.
Neither the government nor the commissioner’s office could provide information about which groups might be behind the practice, but Hennessy called on anyone who had been subject to it to contact the Health Complaints Commission.

La Trobe University religion and sexuality expert, Tim Jones, above, is wrapping up a study on conversion therapy and says the majority of its practitioners in Australia are conservative Protestants.

We estimated from our study, that if you’re a member of one of these conservative religious groups and you went to your religious leader saying you want help with your sexuality or want to change your sexual orientation, that you would be able to be referred to a religious group or private counsellor who would engage in conversion activities with you.

These activities could include “Alcoholics Anonymous-style group therapy” or praying for a cure.

The core messages from conservative groups who buy into this ideology is that same-sex attraction and gender diverse identification is a sign of brokenness – so people are told they’re broken and sinful and need to change.

He added it was not about attacking religious groups but attempting to get them to understand conversion therapy practices:

Never work and they always hurt people.

A woman who works at a church in Melbourne – but who doesn’t want to be identified – said the issue of same-sex attraction would likely be approached in the same way as issues such as alcoholism. But she stressed:

It would be up to how they feel about that and whether they see that as an issue in their life.

The inquiry’s launch comes weeks after Victorian Liberals President Michael Kroger intervened to stop a motion on the practice being debated at the party’s state council meeting.
It called for state legislation to allow health practitioners to:

Offer counselling out of same-sex attraction or gender transitioning to patients who request it.

But the motion was dropped and opposition leader Matthew Guy said there was “absolutely no chance” it would be debated under his leadership.
According to this report, in Melbourne, Courage International helps people “live chaste lives”; in Brisbane, Liberty Inc addresses “unwanted same sex attraction”, and Liberty Christian Ministries, which is backed by the Sydney Anglican Archdiocese, teach a “biblical perspective” on same sex attraction.

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  • CoastalMaineBird

    Liberty Inc addresses “unwanted same sex attraction”
    The ONLY reason it would be “unwanted” is because of people like you.
    This is EXACTLY like mafia extortion – they tell you you’re sick, then sell you the “cure”.

  • John the Drunkard

    Weird. American protestant denominations have along history of disparaging AA. Since Jebus fixes everything, who would need to cooperate with fellow alcoholics?
    Rick Warren, the Mormons, even a little band of Catholics, all operate proprietary pseudo AA ‘programs.’
    There’s an Evangelical knockoff called ‘Alcoholics Victorious’ purpose built to keep church members isolated from ‘outsiders.’

  • Broga

    ” “biblical perspective” on same sex attraction.”
    There is a biblical perspective on slavery and savage abuse of daughters and lots more. So far they have not caught on despite being “biblical truth” and “God’s word”. Seems God spoke in English.

  • barriejohn

    [P]eople are told they’re broken and sinful and need to change.
    That’s actually what they tell everybody. It causes untold harm, especially to children and vulnerable adults. And as for a “biblical perspective”; this means the perspective of uneducated, primitive, unscientific people who lived at least two thousand years ago. It’s weird.

  • Robster

    If only, unexpectedly, the severely religiously afflicted poured as much effort into doing actual good, like feeding the hungry, helping the underprivileged, chasing child raping clerics and other stuff that IS actually good?

  • Maggie

    Churches claiming “victimhood” in 3, 2…

  • RussellW

    To avoid any confusion, the Liberal Party in Australia is probably closer to the UK Conservatives than a real liberal party.It also has a disproportionate percentage of looney religiots in its membership.

  • AgentCormac

    Sorry to go OT, but I see god-bothering lard-arse Eric Pickles is set to be made a peer by god-bothering fuckwit Theresa May. Just what we need – yet more loons at the national helm.

  • 1859

    ‘Lord Pickles’!!!! Isn’t that the name of some chutney? I thank GOCS we don’t have ‘peers’ or ‘lords’ or ‘dukes and duchesses’ here in NZ. (GOCM = Good O…C…S…?)