Only hours left to see ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapies banned in NSW

Did you know that ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapies are being banned in some parts  of the United States of America and could soon be in Australia?  

Recently Britain's leading body for Christian therapists, the Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC), instructed its members to stop trying to turn gay patients straight using so-called "conversion therapy". The Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) said the practice should be stopped "in the interests of public safety".
What about Australia?

On 24 October 2013 the NSW Legislative Assembly supported a motion introduced by the Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, stating that therapies attempting to turn gay people straight do not work, stigmatise gay men and lesbians and are fundamentally damaging to mental health.

An inquiry committee has been set up to look into 'the promotion of false or misleading health-related information or practices'. The end result could be that NSW becomes the first state in Australia to ban ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapies. But this will only happen with your help.

The  Rev Fred Nile fights back

The Rev Fred Nile in a speech to parliament on 14 November 2013 spoke against the motion that had already been passed said he strongly defended reparative therapy for homosexuals.

'The major factors influencing sexual orientation are various life experiences that may be perceived differently even by siblings in the same family. Dr Nicolosi found that many of his male patients had impaired relationships with their fathers, undermining their sense of masculine identity. Not all male homosexuals have this experience. Some have revealed that their family life was happy but school bullying was traumatic. Others were molested by older boys or adult paedophiles who showed affection that the younger boy craved. For others, homosexual pornography played a part. These are only some of the reported influences.' (emphasis mine)

The infamous Dr Nicolosi

In case you don't know who the Dr Nicolosi that Rev Fred Nile is quoting, you may have seen him recently on the Stephen Fry BBC documentary 'Out There'. Nicolosi is the co-founder of a small  fringe organisation called the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality,(NARTH) which has no credibility in serious scientific circles in the US or anywhere around the world.  He is often quoted as an 'authority' by religious people and organisations and written books such as 'A Parent's Guide To Preventing Homosexuality' sold in Australia's leading  Christian bookshop, Koorong.

The Salt Shakers (SS) still believe in conspiracy theories instead of equality.

On their website, the SS, a right wing christian activist organisation, states that this motion and banning of ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapies  is all a part of gay conspiracy.

"If people can change their sexual orientation, then the homosexual activists who claim that someone is ‘born that way’ would lose one of their key arguments. Homosexual activists have been campaigning against any therapy or counselling in this area for some time. Some psychological and psychiatric association's around the world have made statements condemning such therapy – but, as we will see below, many of those organisations have ‘gay and lesbian special interest groups’ that make these statements and sympathetic people who conduct the ‘research’."

Anthony Venn-Brown, former leader of Freedom2Be, who is promoting the view that homosexuality is compatible with Christianity, is also calling for the CLOSURE of groups that provide help and support for people who WANT help to change their unwanted homosexual feelings."

It is now time to take some action.

If you have experienced ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapies then you should write a submission. If you know of anyone who has experienced ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapies then pass this information on to them. This may have happened in one on one counselling, groups sessions or online. All stories are important.

The submission does haven't to be long or complex. It can simply say:

1.     Why you went into this kind of therapy, group or organisation.
2.     The impact during this time
3.     Any negative impact afterwards
4.     How you feel about your sexual orientation now and your time spent trying to become straight.
5.     What would you recommend the government to do about ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapies 
6.    Optional - other relevant facts or quotes from professional organisations or authorities in this area.

You will find all the details about writing the submission here:

You only have hours left though as submissions close this Friday 7 Feb 2014.

Please email me if you have any questions  

PS you might like to make a donation to Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International that will help us end the suffering caused by ignorance and misinformation about sexual orientation and gender diversity. You can make your donation a variety of ways here.  

If you doubt how harmful ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapies can be READ THIS.

Read what mental health professional organisations say about ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapies HERE

© Anthony Venn-Brown 
Twitter: @gayambassador 
Facebook: Anthony Venn-Brown - A Life of Unlearning
Facebook: Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International 

Anthony Venn-Brown is the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b, Australia’s largest network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people from Christian backgrounds. He is also an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ‘ex-gay’ myth. Anthony’s autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning', details his journey from married, high profile preacher in Australia’s mega-churches to living as an openly gay man. Anthony has been twice voted ‘One of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’ (2007 & 2009) and  was one of four finalists for the 2011 ACON Community Hero Award. He is also the founder and director of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International.

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