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Tuesday, 26 November 2019 09:04

Banning 'conversion therapy' and the war on choice

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Rainbow warrior militants and coercive states are banning help for homosexuals:

Various places around the West are denying genuine choice to those who may most need it. I refer to bans on help and counsel for those who are not happy with their same-sex attractions. Many governments today are so utterly in the iron grip of the homosexual activists that they are actually outlawing those who want to make such help available.

In some places if you even dare to pray for such a person you might run afoul of the law. Imagine that! Just decades ago many groups – secular and religious – existed to help such people, because most folks knew this was an unwanted and abnormal lifestyle.

But now governments are teaming up with the militants to crack down on those offering counselling and therapy. Now the ones on the outer are those who actually believe heterosexuality is the norm, and that those struggling should be able to get help in these areas. How things have changed in such a short period of time.

I mention all this because there is a very troubling “discussion” paper which the dastardly Andrews’ Labor government in Victoria has put out on this matter. It pretends to want community input on the matter, but that is not so – it has already made up its mind on where it wants to go on this. The hyper-left Labor government want all such help banned.

And of course they have been speaking to and running with mainly only select groups: the homosexual lobby, the activists and their supporters. They are not in the slightest interested in what ordinary Victorians think about this. So the whole thing is really just a façade and a game.

The government does not really want to hear from you. Only the homosexual militants will get a fair hearing. Yet in times like this we gotta play the game anyway, so I did in fact put in a brief submission. I expect it to be duly ignored. For what it is worth, what follows is my submission on this issue:


The discussion paper on ‘Conversion therapy’ is hugely problematic for so many reasons, and we hope that no legislation based on it will be forthcoming. First, the term itself is a loaded and pejorative term, used by those who do not want homosexually-attracted persons to get the help they are looking for. Thus this discussion paper is biased from the very start.

What in fact is now being offered is simply counselling, or perhaps, as some put it, reparative therapy. It exists for those who want it. But no ‘conversion’ is going on here – certainly no one is forcing anybody to convert to anything. It is simply about offering real help and counsel for those who desperately want such help.

If the government is genuinely concerned about hearing from people in the community on this – all people – it certainly should allow ex-homosexuals a clear chance to share their stories, instead of just catering to militant homosexual activist groups. A “discussion” in which only one side of the debate is routinely and consistently run with is no discussion at all, but merely a foregone conclusion.

Indeed, the very first sentence in the paper makes it clear that the government has already made up its mind: “The purpose of this discussion paper is to seek the community’s views on the best way/s to implement a ban of conversion practices.”

Um, why not ask the people if they even want such a ban, instead of cramming it down the throats of all Victorians as a foregone conclusion? So much for genuine discussion and debate! This is simply more top-down coercive social engineering from the Andrews’ government.

And numerous questions arise with this discussion paper, such as:

Questions about choice

-Why does this government believe that choice is paramount in so many other areas, eg., the right of a woman to choose to kill her own baby in her womb, or the right of kids to choose to change their sex simply because they feel like it, but not here?
-Why are those who are unhappy with their same-sex attractions and want help and counsel being denied that same sort of choice by this government?
-Why does this government want to trap people in unwanted conditions and deny them the help and possible therapy they so very much want?
-Please tell us why this government seems hellbent on taking away choice for those who desperately want choice in this area.

Questions about sexuality

-Why does this government insist that a homosexual is born the way he is and can never change, even though there are countless ex-homosexuals who exist who give lie to this myth?
-Why does this government also insist at the same time (through its promotion of the harmful “Safe” Schools programs, etc), that people can be born male or female, yet their natal sex is fluid and simply a social construct that can be changed at will – even by children?
-Why is one aspect of human sexuality totally immutable and unchangeable, yet this other area of human sexuality totally mutable and changeable?
-Why all the obvious contradictions and double standards here?
-Why does this government seem more intent on running with radical political ideology than with science, biology and reality?

Questions about freedom

-Why this war on freedom – religious freedom, freedom of conscience, and the rights of self-determination, to name but a few basic freedoms?
-Why is this government wanting to harass and go after those who offer real help and support to those who very much want and need such help?
-Why this determined effort to destroy wonderful and proven counselling works and services, just to fit in a radical activist agenda?
-Will the Andrews’ government soon outlaw all related counsel, sermons, pastoral work and even prayer as it pushes radical secular left policies that are hostile to religion, to family, and to freedom?

Yes, homosexuals can change if they want to

The main premise of this discussion paper is the myth that homosexuals cannot change. This is simply not true. Many have left the homosexual lifestyle and gone on to heterosexual marriage and family. I know many such people personally. Why does this government pretend they do not exist? Why are they the new invisible people?

And non-religious groups are also involved in offering such help and assistance. The decidedly non-religious Masters and Johnson Clinic in St. Louis for example has treated hundreds of homosexuals and bisexuals. Masters reports that they have successfully “changed” more than half of their homosexual clients, and higher than 75 per cent of bisexuals.

One New York University psychologist, Dr. Robert Kronemeyer, puts it this way: “With rare exceptions, homosexuality is neither inherited nor the result of some glandular disturbance or the scrambling of genes or chromosomes. Homosexuals are made, not born that way. From my twenty-five years’ experience as a clinical psychologist, I firmly believe that homosexuality is a learned response to early painful experiences and that it can be unlearned.”

And the idea of a gay gene must be rejected. For example, arch-atheist Richard Dawkins put it this way: “Whether you hate homosexuals or whether you love them, whether you want to lock them up or ‘cure’ them, your reasons had better have nothing to do with genes. Rather admit to prejudiced emotion than speciously drag genes in where they do not belong.”

One Australian homosexual activist has said similar things about homosexuality and genetics: “I think the idea that sexuality is genetic is crap. There is absolutely no evidence for it at the moment, and I think it is unhealthy that people want to embrace this idea. It does reflect a desire to say, ‘it’s not our fault’, as a way of deflecting our critics. We have achieved what we have achieved by defiance, not by concessions. I think we should be recruiting people to homosexuality. It’s a great lifestyle and something everybody should have the right to experience. If you believe it’s genetic, how are you going to make the effort?”

There are plenty more such quotes that could be presented here. So we must insist that this is not just a religious issue. Numerous secular groups, and even many homosexuals themselves, have spoken about how real choice is found here, and everything is NOT predetermined by genetics, or birth, and so on.

But Christians are of course interested in seeing lives set free from unwanted addictions and behaviours. So Christians will especially be targeted by any such laws here. As one English doctor puts it: “Taking therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction can include two goals, depending on what the client wants: some people want to diminish their same-sex attraction and remain celibate; others also wish to see a development in their natural potential for opposite-sex attraction. As this work is likely more common among Christians, the campaign to ban such therapy has anti-Christian and anti-social implications that reach well beyond this kind of pastoral care.”


The questions and points offered above – and more could be raised – show the very real dangers and harms that any such legislation would have. We call upon the government to scrap this initiative immediately. We want no such laws put in place.

Those people looking for help should be able to get it. And those people who are offering such help should be able to offer it, and not fear being shut down or fined or punished in some other way by a heavy-handed government intent on pushing minority group agendas instead of offering real choice to people. All those offering this help should be allowed to do so – be they from churches or mosques or temples or non-religious counselling practices, and regardless if they are pastors or imams or priests or rabbis or secular counsellors, etc.

(Note: Most of the documentation for what is presented above can be found in my 2011 book Strained Relations which has over 700 endnotes.)

Bill Muehlenberg

Author, Blogger and Speaker 

Bill Muehlenberg, who was born in America, lives in Melbourne. He is married to an Australian, Averil, and has three sons. He has a BA with honours in philosophy (Wheaton College, Chicago), a MA with highest honours in theology (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston), and is working on a PhD in theology. He is Secretary of the Family Council of Victoria. He was formerly the National Vice President of the Australian Family Association. He was formerly the National Research Coordinator at Focus on the Family.

He currently continues an independent ministry in pro-faith and pro-family activism. He is head of an apologetics/ethics ministry called CultureWatch, started in January 2006. This interactive blogsite features over 3,300 articles and 52,000 comments.