News

Canada’s opposition NDP call for removal of charitable status for ‘ex-gay’ groups

"Ex-gay" groups like Exodus “prey on vulnerable members of our community, often young people in difficult family situations at grips with self-hatred and depression," claims the NDP's "queer issues" critic.
Mon Jul 11, 2011 - 11:59 am EST

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Delegates with Canada’s newly-minted official Opposition, the New Democrat Party (NDP), passed a resolution calling on the government to revoke the charitable status of groups that support those seeking to overcome same-sex attraction at their policy convention in Vancouver last month.

Introducing the resolution, which was passed unanimously, outgoing “LGBT” co-chair Matthew McLaughlin specifically urged the government to revoke the status of Exodus Global Alliance, and asked that they investigate other ex-gay groups as well.

“Ex-gay organisations … take advantage of LGB people, often in vulnerable family situations or at grips with depression and self-hatred, and browbeat them — saying that LGB people never live happy lives, that we are unhealthy and unwhole, and that we never experience love and that the only hope lies in their therapies,” said McLaughlin, according to the homosexual blog Slap Upside the Head.

Randall Garrison, the NDP’s “queer issues” critic, told Xtra that such groups “bully” people “into believing that gay, lesbian and bisexual people are sick and lead sad and lonely lives, and that the only hope is to become straight.”

“The federal government must not support this kind of unscientific falsehood.”

The campaign was spearheaded by the Quebec arm of the NDP after a petition and letter-writing campaign launched last year by Slap Upside the Head. It was inspired by the New Zealand government’s decision to revoke the charitable status of the Exodus Global Alliance’s branch in that country in August 2010.

The Exodus ministry, dedicated to communicating the message of “freedom from homosexuality,” had had charitable status in New Zealand for more than ten years, but the government’s Charities Commission ruled that the group did not qualify because its activities offered no “public benefit.”

The government ruling also cited the fact that the American Psychological Association (APA) deleted homosexuality from its listing of mental disorders in 1973 and has opposed homosexual reorientation therapy by claiming that it may be harmful to homosexuals.

According to supporters of the ex-gay movement, however, the APA’s position statements are based in large part on debunked research by psychologists Alfred Kinsey and Evelyn Hooker.

Dr. Judith Reisman has revealed that Kinsey’s surveys showing that there is a high proportion of homosexuals in the population drew heavily on prison inmates and frequenters of homosexual bars, though he presented the surveys as indicative of the general population. Additionally, though Hooker’s research purportedly showed that pathology was no more apparent in homosexuals than in heterosexuals, it has been revealed that her homosexual subjects were screened and selected by the Mattachine Society, a homosexual activist group.

Advocates of reorientation therapy say the APA has neglected a hundred years’ worth of research showing the effectiveness and benefits of sexual reorientation therapy.  The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) made that case in a 2009 meta-analysis.

Even in the many cases where reorientation is not possible, groups like Exodus say they can offer support to men and women with same-sex attractions who recognize the spiritual and physical dangers of homosexual behavior and want help living chastely.

A spokesperson for Exodus Global Alliance was unavailable by press time.

The full text of the NDP resolution reads: “Be it resolved that the New Democratic Party call on the Government to immediately remove any charitable status currently enjoyed by ‘ex-gay’ organizations and to see to it that according to this status to such organizations in future be prohibited.”