Inside Australia’s Gay Cure.

Article first published as Getting Inside Australia’s Gay Cure. on Technorati.
Praise from Paul Martin regarding this article – paul martin
This journalist did great job telling the real issues with ex gay issue – great as people in Britain now reading this

Inside Australia’s ‘Gay Cure’  from Jason Shaw
If I were to mention the word exodus to you, what would you think?  Migration or evacuation might come to mind, but for many all over the world the mention of the name Exodus is greeted with horror, anger and fear.  For Exodus is an American organisation of global religious ministries that claims to ‘cure’ gays with some very alarming practises.
Exorcisms, hugging, behavioural management and marriage are all among those alarming methods used by Exodus Christian ministries to “heal” or “cure” homosexuals according to a former leader who has now seen the light and wants such things stamped out.
Paul Martin became one of the main counsellors at the Melbourne branch of Exodus Asia Pacific during his 20’s has told local Australian newspapers, that after signing up to the Exodus ministries, parishioners would partake in various “treatment programs” which included focused prayer groups, counselling, and exercises, even exorcisms designed to cast out their inner ‘gay’ demons.
The Exodus message stems from the idea that homosexuality stems from a childhood love-deficit, that you weren’t loved enough by your father and so crave love from men, or that you were sexually abused; basically that homosexuality comes from a bad place, that homosexuals are damaged people, and that Exodus will heal your brokenness, according to Paul Martin.

Men and women, he says, would undergo masculinisation and feminisation therapies, learning how to dress and behave more like the straight man or woman they were supposed to be. Which included but not limited to dressing lesbians in Laura Ashley dresses, oh how lovely.  Martin also told how there was intense pressure to form heterosexual relationships within the Christian communities that supported the ministry, marriage and children seen as the ultimate mark of success.
“We’d parade men who went through the program and got married around like they were champions, and they’d all say their lives were better since they committed to God and enjoyed the sort of relationship God intended – with a woman, having children,”Mr Martin said, before adding, “But you’d then have a conversation where they admitted their lives were far more painful now they were living this even greater lie – they were burdened with guilt because they were hurting the woman they were married to, or engaging in desperate sex acts in public toilets or bushes that were even further from their belief system [than committed same-sex relationships].”

Paul Martin struggled with these kinds of interaction, combined with his own tussle to blend his fundamental Christian beliefs with his true sexual orientation. It was a struggle that eventually saw him bravely walk away from the Exodus, its ministry and head up to Brisbane.    Now,  some twenty-five years later, Paul Martin is not only a registered psychologist, but also an equal-rights campaigner, advocate for same sex marriage and impassioned critic of so-called “gay healing”,  which is still going on, by Exodus in Australia and elsewhere in the world.
Martin claims the local branches of Exodus Global Alliance still promotes homophobia and also engages in dangerous “ex-gay” therapies.   Things may have changed over the years, the large number of ex-gay ministries in Queensland, Australia is indicative of culture of homophobic sentiment that still presents a great challenge to a great many men and women.   Of the eight Exodus ministries currently active in Australia, five are located in Queensland and a further two at the Sunshine.
A report last year found that three electorates in Queensland were the most homophobic in Australia.  These areas  Wright, Hinkler and Capricornia had the highest percentages of people who agreed with the statement “I believe homosexuality is immoral”.  Yet, the inner suburbs of Brisbane were among the third most gay friendly in Australia.  The sunshine city was only beaten by the cosmopolitan city on the banks of the Yarra, Melbourne and exuberant home of one of the worlds greatest gay Mardi Gras – Sydney.
The scourge of ex-gay and gay cure Exodus ministries hit the headlines again this week in Australia following Community Services Minister Karen Struthers condemning  her LNP counterpart Fiona Simpson, who made a speech made in 2002, which outlined her support for Exodus, telling gay and lesbian people they can “grow into heterosexuality” over time.
So far, there has been no word from Ms Simpson whether she still subscribes to that view. Simpson’s views and support of Exodus may not be so mainstream today as they once were,  it’s a view that still presents a clear and present danger to society. “But outdated homophobic attitudes still prevail and one has to point out the damage done to people living in state were homosexuality was a crime until 1990 – it’s a cumulative damage, it’s minority stress, it’s people dealing with long-held feelings they were less equal than others.” Paul Martin said.

A clear example of the danger Exodus and other religious ex-gay groups present are when they mount so called ‘motivational’ talks in and for schools.  In April this year, a Caboolture school had to ban a related Exodus ministry from holding one such meeting on the school ground that featured American ex-gay motivational speaker Adam Hood.  The hideous Hood
explains how participating in gay-cure programs helped him become a happily married, sexually active straight man in YouTube video.  He also said ‘homosexuals should be quarantined, called them a “gangrene” that would infect and destroy heaven’.  Although, as we all know according to such religions, gay people are sinners and so wont get to heaven.
The ‘ex-gay’ or gay cure therapies spouted by Hood, Exodus and other such ministries can be incredibly dangerous, especially to those mentally vulnerable people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality and religious belief.   It can and often lead to significant psychological damage, low self esteem and behavioural issues that can last a lifetime.
The very notion that you can turn a gay man straight or a lesbian into a heterosexual woman is a bizarre and impossible as turning a white person black or Norwegian into an Australian aboriginal.   Trying to ‘cure’ people of homosexuality ia as abhorent as the persecution Hitler forced on gays during the Second World War.  You can’t prey the gay away!
John Smid, also formerly of Exodus has made several media and public appearances in the U.S. saying he has now realized being gay is “intrinsic” and that he’s not met anyone who has successfully altered their sexual orientation.  He’s also apologised for the way his Exodus has treated gay and lesbian people.


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