CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Banning Real Help for Those Seeking Change

Dec 4, 2016

The Victorian government recently passed a bill which would ban those seeking to provide help for those who want to deal with their unwanted same-sex attractions. This dangerous bill would likely have escaped the attention of most folks, but the homosexual community was fully aware of it.

One homosexual website for example said this when the bill was first mooted:

A new bill set to crack down on dodgy health practitioners such as gay conversion therapists will be introduced to the Victorian Parliament today. The introduction of a proposed new complaints system has been described as “tough” by Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy (pictured) who says existing loopholes will be filled with “some pretty tough new powers”.
“We’ve had a number of challenges in terms of the sorts of services people have been provided and no legislative tools to really respond to it. We’re taking action to crack down on dangerous health practitioners who take advantage of vulnerable Victorians,” she said.
“An example of some of the challenges we’ve seen in recent times – we’ve seen gay conversion therapists out there strutting their wares, we’ve seen unethical representations about treatments claimed to cure cancer that we know don’t work.” A significant change will be that the commissioner will not have to wait until a patient makes a complaint to take action.
gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/gay-conversion-therapy-to-be-banned-in-victoria-20303.html

homo-80Another site tells of how the bill moved on to become law:

In February 2016, the government announced it would promptly introduce legislation to “crack down” on gay conversion therapists in the state. On 9 February 2016, the Health Complaints Bill 2016 was introduced to the lower house of the Victorian Parliament. The bill creates a Health Complaints Commissioner with increased powers to take action against such groups; these powers ranging from issuing public warnings to banning them from practicing in Victoria. The bill passed the lower house on 25 February 2016, passed the upper house on 14 April 2016 with minor amendments and passed the lower house with the attached amendments on 27 April 2016. Royal assent was granted on 5 May 2016. The law goes into effect on 1 February, 2017.
www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=LGBT%20rights%20in%20Victoria

The Melbourne Age was of course quite pleased about all this as well, especially about how Christians will be targeted here:

The state government will attempt to crack down on so-called gay conversion therapy through a new public watchdog with the power to investigate people purporting to “cure” or suppress homosexuality. The move comes amid growing concerns that such practices remain prevalent in Australia – including alarming claims of shock treatment or aversion tactics being used in recent years in a bid to thwart same-sex attraction….
While registered practitioners can already be investigated by authorities, the legislation will close a loophole that currently exists regarding unregistered practitioners making unproven claims that they can covert gay people.
“If they are found to be making false claims and to be acting in a manner that puts people’s physical, mental or psychological health, safety or welfare at risk, the Commissioner will be able to ban them from providing such services,” said Health Minister Jill Hennessy. “We have zero tolerance for any person purporting to be able to ‘covert’ gay people through medical or therapeutic means. Any attempts to make people feel uncomfortable with their own sexuality is completely unacceptable.”
News of the government’s plans come a week after The Sunday Age reported on the growing push behind the scenes to combat the “ex-gay movement”, which essentially views homosexuality as a sin and remains an insidious part of evangelical church culture in Australia.
Part of the problem, however, is that the size and prevalence of the movement remains unclear, and it is not entirely known to what extent conversion therapy is still being used, either through religious organisations attempting to “pray away the gay” or less formal structures.
www.theage.com.au/victoria/zero-tolerance-andrews-to-crack-down-on-gay-conversion-therapy-20160123-gmcimw.html

In early February the Victoria Health Minister proudly put out a statement on this, which included the following:

Other examples include a formerly registered dentist who claimed ‘ozone therapy’ could cure cancer, or people purporting to be able to ‘convert’ gay people through medical or therapeutic means. Individuals who breach the Commissioner’s ruling would face up to two years in prison. If the community is at risk, the Commissioner will be able to issue public warnings and name and shame providers in the media in order to protect the public.
www.premier.vic.gov.au/new-laws-to-crack-down-on-dodgy-health-providers/

The 142 page bill covers various areas, but of real concern is how it targets those who provide counselling and help for homosexuals who want out, or seek help in their struggles. The Victorian Government believes such people should not be able to get the help they are looking for, and those offering such help should be punished.

As one ex-homosexual said to me about this draconian legislation:

What groups? And what constitutes conversion therapy? This includes religious practices. This would affect any church that says homosexual practice is sin, and who do not simply accept behaviour. Of course there was all the usual baloney about shock treatment etc. I guess they haven’t come across the work of lesbian researcher Lisa Diamond who has now proven that homosexuality is not innate. She is not Christian and says that people just change from this over time, without therapy, etc. I think they need to get a bit more up to date and tolerant. I sure hope the conservative revolution that seems to have begun to roll will see some of these crazy laws repealed or overridden.

Of course some American states such as California have already gone down this path. Concerned groups, including the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), have spoken out about such moves. They said this about the California Bill SB 1172 at the time:

[We strongly recommend] that this bill not be passed out of committee. NARTH is a professional, scientific organization whose members include fully qualified academics and therapists who are fully licensed professionals and who abide by high standards of ethical care. NARTH supports the freedom of individuals to claim a gay identity or to explore their unwanted attractions and make changes in their lives….
In summary, NARTH respects each client’s dignity, autonomy, and free agency in choosing their preferred form of psychological care to address same-sex attractions. We believe that SB 1172 would make for bad law based on its misrepresentation of the science pertaining to SOCE, its potential to unnecessarily restrict client and parental choices, and its assumption of the regulatory functions of mental health associations and
licensing boards. We would urge committee members who are open to broadening their information base regarding SOCE to visit our web site at and review our recent statement about SOCE as well as our Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Unwanted Same-Sex Behavior and Attractions.
www.therapeuticchoice.com/california-sb-1172-anyalsis

As one California therapist wrote:

True change therapy focuses on client narratives, which emanate from their life experiences, values, religious beliefs, and therapeutic goals. In therapy, change therapists and clients explore experiences and false beliefs about the self that bring a deep and pervading sense of personal and gender identity shame. Contrary to popular belief, change therapists do not attempt to change a client’s sexual feelings; rather, we explore what inhibits clients from self-actualization and gender identity wholeness. It runs against the grain of so much of what is known about sexuality and its relationship to identity and personhood. Nevertheless, many therapists reject all change therapies with the result being actual harm that can occur when a therapist is convinced that gay affirmative therapy is right for EVERY client. Likewise, it can be incredibly damaging when a therapist sets an agenda for a client while ignoring both his desires, past experiences, and life narratives.
www.therapeuticchoice.com/analysis-of-anti-soce-legislation

A very recent article on this is also well worth quoting from:

Christian psychologists and pastoral counselors are decrying the fear mongering over “gay conversion therapy,” with tales of “electroshock” use in church basements, arguing that the state is trying to control legitimate therapy…. Five states including California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, and New Jersey, have passed laws forbidding sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), one of the terms synonymously used with conversion therapy….
Julie Hamilton, the previous president of Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity, and a former professor in the psychology department at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida, thinks such legislative efforts belie what actually happens in counseling sessions.
“I have a general therapy practice,” said Hamilton, who holds a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy. Hamilton told CP in a recent interview that she regularly meets with “people that are depressed, people that are anxious, people that are distressed about unwanted attractions, and [the approach] is the same for everyone.”
“We talk about what’s leading to these feelings that they have, where do they go from here. It’s talk therapy … A client comes in and says ‘I’m distressed about this particular problem, can you help me?’ and the therapist and client talk. That’s what they do, they talk.” Moreover, she added, licensed therapists must abide by codes of ethics and the state laws and rules under which they are licensed. And they only ever work with voluntary clients.
“If there was something unethical or illegal going on, there are already mechanisms in place to take care of that. We don’t have to create laws that exclude particular groups of people from getting help,” Hamilton said. “These legislators are reaching into the therapy room, telling therapists and clients what they are allowed to talk about and what they are not.”

The article continues:

Joe Dallas, an Assembly of God-ordained pastoral counselor with Newport Mesa Church in Costa Mesa, California told CP in an interview that the claims of electroshock therapy and other highly unethical means being used “are very much like those blurry photographs of Bigfoot that keep floating around … it’s a photograph of something but that sucker never can be confirmed.”
But perchance the charges were true, “I hope that individual who gave this interview with the Huffington Post will have the integrity to name the person or organization who did that,” he said.
Dallas, who lived as an openly gay man from 1978-1984, came to a point in his life where he yielded to his Christian convictions that homosexuality was no longer a valid option for him.
“I had every right to seek assistance in resisting what I no longer felt was right,” Dallas said. “I also had every right to explore my potential for other feelings and responses. Of course, the practitioner I sought help from had the ethical mandate to give me a realistic view of what I was pursuing, as any therapist should.”
“But today, it seems we’re telling the public at large that only one viewpoint of homosexuality is acceptable, and that if an individual who is same-sex attracted does not share that view, then the individual’s worldview needs treatment, not his sexual behavior or identity.”

As one expert, Robert Gagnon, says about SOCE: “McCarthyesque political censors are at work again, self-appointed anti-democratic political moralists with little expertise in moral theology who seek to deny self-determination and freedom of choice. No, I’m not talking about conservatives but so-called ‘liberals’.”

Big Brother is alive and well when governments step in and ban certain groups from getting the help they are so desperately seeking. Welcome to our Brave New Rainbow World.

www.christianpost.com/news/electroshock-therapy-gays-church-basements-pastoral-counselors-christian-psychologists-conversion-171822/page1.html#.WEMCAkTA5eI.twitter

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24 Responses to Banning Real Help for Those Seeking Change

  • I have written to Jill Hennessy about 10 times and as yet have not had a reply. I asked her what do I do with a person who sought help for an unwanted same sex attraction, received it and is no longer same sex attracted.

    Do I have to tell him that what happened was illegal so he has to resume his homosexual way of life?

    it seems that the government does not like answering questions that blows their ideology out of the widow.

  • So the state will help and support you when you want to change your gender from the one you were born with but ban therapy for those who want to change their sexual orientation to straight?

    Makes sense…not.

  • Thanks for that poignant reminder Jo. With our present Victorian government run by Dictator Dan, Common sense has become a rare commodity.

  • Yes a very good point indeed Jo. Leftist “logic” and hypocrisy once again on display.

  • Does this include outlawing deliverance ministry where those possessed of demons can receive instant healing once the evil spirits have been cast out? Sadly we see or hear very little about deliverance ministry in its true sense these days. I believe that many homosexuals have left themselves open to evil spirits who are now driving the this war against the church. Indeed Jesus’ question to His disciples “Will He find faith in the world when he comes” certainly comes into focus especially in the Western church. I noticed some prisons being constructed in Melbourne’s west. Perhaps more Christians are going to be seeing the inside of them.

  • Yes Keith, it seems clear that any form of help and ministry to homosexuals – Christian or otherwise – would be verboten and subject to punishment.

  • “Any attempts to make people feel uncomfortable with their own sexuality is completely unacceptable” or in other words the Labor Party’s promotion of sexual immorality trumps all else and this includes all cultures, religions, beliefs and scientific evidence. So, for example, telling people homosexuality can lead to increased risk of disease is “completely unacceptable.” They are apparently able to call whatever they want immoral but irrespective of how many facts you have to support your position they do not want to hear.

    To me what is completely unacceptable is basing laws on demonstrable lies.

  • Michael when you think of the things what the Left have pushed hard on, not one of them are based on truth. They even use scientists to do their heavy lifting when lies need confirming.

    1.Atheism is now run of the mill doctrine of fact in schools when in fact it is a belief system that one needs to exercise faith to follow.
    2. Life starts at birth is another and even this is being pushed passed the birth in some cases.
    3. All humans are inherently good is another whereas God says the opposite.
    4. Schools are not a place for teaching morality and parents must not smack their children at home.
    5. There are no winners or losers for this is hurtful to the underachievers. Every child must be a winner.
    6. How about the way they have twisted the meaning of ‘Separation of Church and State’ to argue Christianity should not influence political decisions but it is ok for those with an atheistic faith to push their agenda.
    7. Homosexuality is a genetic condition therefore on must not discriminate or call it sin. No proof offered of course.
    8. Now gender is fluid. It can change if the mind deems it so which completely contradicts what they say about homosexuality!
    9. All cultures possess an equal value and therefore must not be open to criticism or must not be judged. Hence Multiculturalism is their ‘sacred cow’! Again no logical reasoning given so they have to use a big stick to get it accepted.
    10. All religions are beneficial to the human race and each must be protected (at the expense of Christianity of course which is the only faith that is still allowed to be pushed around and discriminated against).
    11. Islam is a religion of peace and terrorism in its name is contrary to Islamic beliefs. HA and the stick to beat back the nay-sayers is getting bigger.
    12. Man is causing the earth to heat up and this is threatening our global existence. Then when it was shown that the earth has stopped warming the doctrine was changed to ‘Climate Change. How convenient!

    All these things plus more that could by added are based on unfounded facts or proof. Its astounding how they are allowed to get away with it!!!

  • When all is said and done the battle is truth v lies as happened in the garden of Eden. Nothing has changed. Satan is the instigator of everything that is contrary to God’s will and homosexuality is a classic example. Like abortion it is based on lies which the homosexuals believe is the truth and the truth is lies. That is why they are so aggressive towards those that defend the truth because every time the truth comes out it exposes their lies so they have to be silenced.

    Sad to say much of the church has caved into the pressure and are afraid to call a spade a spade and stand by the word of God. When those that have the answer are not prepared to nail their colours to the mast there is little hope for those with the greatest need. They are consigned to a future without hope.

    When christianity only offers comfort and non commitment the salt has lost its savour.

  • The pinkshirts testify that change is indeed possible, by trying to make it illegal. Take anything illegal: it is possible to do that thing; that’s why the government made a law against it.

    In October, the Mercury had an article saying that reparative therapy is harmful. They printed (most of) my letter about it; it might be helpful for other letter writers.

    LGBT activist Julian Punch’s attempt to homosexualise Catholic doctrine is way off beam (“Doctrine that gays change sexuality or abstain causes great harm”, October 21). Instead of threatening a backlash towards the Catholic Church, Mr Punch should show more tolerance and inclusion by celebrating the diversity of views which differ from his own.

    His assertion that sexual abstinence “causes great harm” beautifully demonstrates the gay movement’s intentions towards vulnerable young people. Who would want their child to be encouraged to experiment with homosexuality, while being told they are born that way and that change is impossible?

    Also, Mr Punch seems unaware that an abstinent person has no sexually transmitted diseases, and cannot have an ‘unwanted’ pregnancy.

    Mr Punch claims that “reparative therapy” is harmful, but surely people with an unwanted same-sex attraction have every right to seek professional help to overcome it, without having to ask Mr Punch’s permission first. After all, what consenting adults do together is none of Mr Punch’s business!

    As a qualified healthcare professional, Mr Punch knows perfectly well that it is never wrong or harmful to encourage people to act in accordance with the self-evident design of their own body. The union of male and female, which is essential to both marriage and the Catholic doctrine thereof, is literally written all over Mr Punch in his DNA.

  • Well done Michael.

  • An interesting thought came to mind as I read about the child abuse issues in UK football. Is there any research done on the ratio of paedophile amongst lgbti vs heterosexual? Is there something to highlight about the danger of LGBTI adult posed to our children?

  • Yes the research has been done and per head of population there are more homosexuals paedophiles than heterosexual paedophiles.

    And FYI, there is more domestic violence per head of population amongst homosexual couples than there is in heterosexual couples.

  • Thanks Jeff. Yes we have plenty of research on this. I devote a whole chapter to it in my earlier book:

    https://www.amazon.com/Strained-Relations-The-Challenge-Homosexuality/dp/1495969436/

  • In response to this latest piece of bad news from the State of Victoria,
    do you have details of the actual changes in the law regarding persons
    who wish to seek counselling or professional treatment for unwanted
    same-sex attractions. It is a big job to plough through 142 pages of
    legalese in this piece of ‘legislation’ to discover exactly what is now
    in the legislation and how the courts might interpret it.

    Does this law apply to persons under 18, for instance, or to all persons
    regardless of their age? We recall what happened to Lesley Pilkington
    with regard to a so-called ‘client’ who denounced her to the authorities
    over this kind of thing.

    The MSM said very little. Where was “The Australian” when the bill went
    through Victorian Parliament? Unfortunately, “The Age” supported it but
    didn’t tell us very much, apart from the usual spin.

  • Thanks Bill. I am afraid you and me both will need to read all 142 pages if we want the fine detail! And it remains to be seen how future court decisions will go on this.

  • Great article and comments and Jo Deller makes the same point I made a while back. Let’s go one step further and ask what is allowed if an opposite sex attracted person wants therapy to change to same sex attraction. Well, if the two situations are equally beautiful and natural, surely there must be some people who are deeply desirous of going in that direction. The rainbow flag surely beckons to some heterosexual people. Isn’t the gay lifestyle just too attractive to want to stay straight? Come on all of you, out of the closet you come. Or is heteronormativity just too ingrained as a societal structure, or some such drivel?

  • I came across an interesting and revealing piece from LifeSite’ on Milo Yiannopoulos’ , from someone attending one of his ‘Dangerous Faggot’ college appearances. I quote at length:

    “The laughing and clapping that erupted whenever Milo made a reference to his promiscuity was also sort of depressing from a different perspective. Milo is very clearly conflicted about the chasm between his lifestyle and his faith—he wears two crucifixes around his neck and leaps to defend the Catholic Church at every opportunity. Back when he worked for a Catholic newspaper in Britain, he regularly defended traditional marriage, even stating on a TV show with David Mitchell and Boy George that “something inside of me tells me that being homosexual is probably wrong.” Mitchell challenged Milo for having written of homosexuality that, “the feelings of rejection and alienation that it engenders are responsible for the sorts of repugnant tribal posturing you see on the streets of Soho on a Friday night, as bitterly unhappy queers engage in degrading and repulsive behavior.” Milo’s response: “I’ll stand by that.”

    “The one thing that Milo has both flamboyantly used for professional purposes yet admitted he wishes to change is his lifestyle. He admits, to any interviewer who asks, that he is playing the sexuality card because he knows it allows him to get away with saying things that a straight man could not. He also tells anyone who asks him that he wishes he wasn’t gay. He left Joe Rogan stunned when, after a moment’s pause, he mused that even though it might cause “career suicide,” he’d take a pill that would change him from gay to straight. On one campus, he responded to a question about his sexuality by stating, in all seriousness, that he would love to have kids but didn’t want to bring them up in a gay household.

    “I’m kind of stuck in a rut now,” he said with a rueful chuckle and palpable sadness. “You know what I do want to do, though, I do want to do that ‘pray the gay away’ therapy, just to see if it works.” He waved away the laughter, remaining serious. “No, because lots of people say it works, and lots of people say it doesn’t work, and the ones who say it doesn’t work say [that it’s] bigoted hateful religious nonsense. But there are just as many people who you will never hear about because the media doesn’t want to report on them who say, yeah, it transformed my life, I’ve got a wife, I’ve got kids, and I’m happy now, and I wasn’t before. There’s all kinds of explanations the Left has for this—internalized bigotry or whatever—but I’d quite like to try it and see.”

    “By his own admission, Milo feels conflicted at best, and trapped in his lifestyle at worst. In a bit of a rut, as he put it. At a recent campus event, he explained he’d take a “straight pill” because the idea of not being able to create a child depressed him, and mused that “some day, when I’m done triggering special snow flakes on campus, when I’m tired of all this, I might quite like a little Milo.” To hear the laughter at his stale comments regarding a sexual lifestyle he himself has admitted is depressing is emblematic of how we treat celebrities: We don’t care if they destroy themselves, as long as we’re entertained, and as long as they let us watch.

    “All of that gave his next joke an air of wistfulness. He pulled up a slide featuring a smiling, 1950s housewife. He started to comment on how universities had ruined women with “grievance culture” and women’s studies, and then turned to look at the slide. “Even I would want to come home to her at 6:20 every day,” he said to laughter.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/the-milo-temptation?utm_source=LifePetitions+petition+signers&utm_campaign=5150c4ccee-Pro_Life_12_812_8_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c5c75ce940-5150c4ccee-399797485

  • Thanks David. Yes that is a great article.

  • Let’s pray for Milo. Setting aside the flamboyant ‘gayness’ and crude comments, he has a lot of sensible insights into the leftist PC madness and is a fearless soldier on the conservative side of the culture wars. He’s my favourite conservative gayboy.

  • Thanks David. On the one hand I like it when anyone speaks truth and takes on the shibboleths of the day, be it radical feminism or radical Islam, etc. But on the other hand there is the issue of the brand, and whether we may in some ways damage the conservative and Christian brand with someone who is quite proud of at least several things conservatives rightly are worried about, eg., homosexuality, and the lack of civility (foul language and the like). So I at least am of two minds about a guy like this. I love how he can smack down loony lefties, fems, and other liberals, but I am concerned (certainly as a Christian) about his homosexuality and his profane and sexually explicit language. So a mixed bag here.

    I certainly don’t mind aligning myself with conservatives who are pagans – note all the times I happily quote an Andrew Bolt or a Brendan O’Neil eg. So I support that sort of co-belligerency. It is the foul mouthed out-and-proud homosexuality that of course is more problematic. But I have quoted lesbian Tammy Bruce and others before, so I certainly do not write them off or avoid them like the plague. As I say, trying to get a good working balance here is the trick for the Christian conservative.

    So yes we need to pray for him that he becomes a Christian and gets his sexuality sorted out.

  • Agreed. And what you say in your last sentence is of course what I meant. But you have to love it when a conservative commentator can take head on anything thrown at them and argue it down without missing a beat, with all the facts at their fingertips. Ben Shapiro is another one of my favourites.

    Many will take issue with me here, but a bit of judicious swearing bothers me not at all if used to punctuate a point, and as long as it doesn’t get personal or cross the line into blasphemy.

  • Hi. I have a friend who is a Christian and struggling with same-sex attraction. She is seeing a Christian counsellor who seems to say that same-sex attraction can’t be cured, and that same-sex attraction doesn’t stem from a disfunctional relationship with one or both of your parents. Is this true? She doesn’t seem to have much hope and is really struggling in her marriage. If you have any suggested resources or ministries I’d love to hear about them. Thanks.

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