Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

Gays disrupt hearings in Brazilian Congress on psychological treatment for homosexuality

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

BRASILIA, BRAZIL, June 29, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - Homosexual activists disrupted a hearing on Thursday in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies on proposed legislation to permit psychologists to treat homosexuals who wish to change their orientation, an activity currently prohibited by the country’s Federal Council of Psychology (CFP).

The bill, known as Legislative Decree 234/11 and derided by Brazil’s leftist media as the “gay cure” bill, would also overturn a CFP regulation that prohibits psychologists from publicly speaking of homosexual orientation in a negative way.

Homosexual protesters began to interrupt the hearing when psychologist Marisa Lobo spoke to defend the rights of homosexuals to receive treatment for their condition, calling her “homophobic,” “fundamentalist,” and “blabbermouth.”

“Everyone in the world who disagrees with you, you call ‘homophobic,’” retorted Lobo, according to the Correio de Bahia newspaper.

Lobo noted that the CFP’s prohibition of reparative therapy for homosexuals “injure the autonomy of the patient, because it prohibits treatment for homosexuals,” and that as a psychologist, she must “listen to that psychological suffering” when homosexuals wish to change their orientation.

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The homosexuals in the audience continued their interruptions, and were ultimately expelled from the chamber when they began to read aloud a statement by the CFP repudiating the hearings. Christian supporters of the bill remained, however, cheering on the author of the legislation, Federal Deputy João Campos, a leader of the National Congress’s Evangelical caucus.

Lobo was also attacked by Deputy Jean Wyllys, the leader of the Mixed Parliamentary Front for LGBT Citizens, who said he felt “uncomfortable” because of Lobo’s statements, according to the Diario do Grande ABC newspaper.

“I didn’t offend the deputy,” Lobo responded. “It is he who tried to diminish me, trying to say that my positions can’t be considered, just because I am religious.”

The CFP itself refused to participate in the hearings, claiming that the issue is scientifically settled and that the roster of those called to testify was stacked against it. The organization has historically taken an ideologically affirmative position towards homosexuality, declaring in 1999 that “homosexuality does not constitute an illness, nor a disturbance, nor a perversion,” and claiming that those who disagree are guilty of “prejudice.”

The CFP’s decision to boycott the hearings followed a letter written to the organization by Toni Reis, president of the Brazilian Association for Gays, Lesbians, and Transsexuals, “suggesting” that the “Federal Council of Psychology not present itself in said Public Hearing, because of the understanding that it is an affront to science, human dignity, human rights, secular government and the autonomy of the Federal Council of Psychology.”

The letter, a copy of which has been obtained by LifeSiteNews, also asks the CFP to “pronounce officially in an emphatic and decisive way against this hearing and against this initiative, for violating human rights.”

Brazil’s Federal Council of Psychology, unlike other psychology associations such as the American Psychology Association (APA), has the power to deprive a therapist of his right to practice if its rules are violated.

The CFP used its powers to censure psychologist Rozangela Justino in 2009 for conducting reparative therapy for homosexual clients who wished it, and ordered its Rio de Janeiro division to enforce the ruling prohibiting the treatment.

Recent studies indicate that some homosexuals can learn to resist their homosexual urges and even develop opposite-sex attraction through therapy. The American Psychological Association claims the existing evidence is not sufficient to determine the efficacy of such therapy,  although it admits that among those who have received it, “some individuals modified their sexual orientation identity (i.e., group membership and affiliation), behavior, and values (Nicolosi, Byrd, & Potts, 2000).”

The World Health Organization continues to recognize the category of “Egodystonic homosexuality” for those who suffer from unwanted same-sex attraction, and also recognizes the use of therapy in such cases.

It also recognizes “sexual relationship disorder,” in which sexual orientation interferes with existing relationships. Transvestitism and transsexualism are also acknowledged as mental disorders by the organization.

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South African mom files ‘wrongful life’ lawsuit on behalf of Downs son

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

A South African woman has launched a "wrongful life" lawsuit against the Cape Town-based Foetal Assessment Centre, claiming a failure to inform her that the child she was carrying was at risk of having Down Syndrome prevented her from aborting her baby.

A twist in this lawsuit is that, unlike other "wrongful birth" lawsuits, the mother in this case missed the time limit to file the claim on her own behalf, so she is asking the South African Constitutional Court to allow her to sue the center for “wrongful life” on behalf of her now-born son.

“You have a duty to tell my mother carrying me that I'm malformed so that she can make an informed decision as to whether or not to carry me to term,” the statement of claim against the Foetal Assessment Centre reads, according to SABC News.

“It is not as if the foetus is sort of putting up its hand and saying why you didn’t destroy me," the mother's lawyer, Paul Hoffman, explained to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. "The foetus is complaining that its malformation, its development is the result of the bad advice that was given.”

The SABC report did not say what compensation the woman is seeking.

The scope of the case is similar to that of a New Zealand couple who won a lawsuit claiming monetary compensation after a routine 20 week ultrasound scan failed to discover that their daughter had spina bifida.

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The mother, whose name has not been released, claimed that the continuance of the pregnancy was a “personal injury,” and, had she been given the correct diagnosis after that scan, she would have aborted her daughter.

"We consider that the continued pregnancy of the appellant following a misdiagnosis in the 20 week scan is capable of being an injury suffered by the appellant,” the court ruled, and directed the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to make the woman eligible for compensation for the ongoing surgical and physiotherapy expenses incurred by their child.

New Zealand disability advocate Mike Sullivan said the underpinning attitude behind the decision is that those with disability, both born and unborn, are seen as a burden on society.

“This is what happens,” Sullivan said, when “the children become reduced to nothing – wrong even to exist.”

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received millions in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

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If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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