By Patrick B. Craine

MONTREAL, Quebec, November 10, 2009 ( – A Montreal Catholic parish hosting a series for parents on instilling a normal and integrated sexual identity in their children has been intimidated into cancelling the remainder of the sessions following threats of protest from homosexualists.  Moreover, the session's organizer has been ridiculed in the press, and says that his “credibility is destroyed.”

Three evening sessions, organized by journalist and author Michel Lizotte, were scheduled to be held at Notre-Dame-des-Champs parish in Repentigny, by the invitation of pastor Fr. Christian Lepine.  The first evening was held on October 26th, sparking outrage from the province's homosexualists, who began organizing a protest for the next session.  Instead, Fr. Lepine chose to cancel the November 9th and December 7th sessions.

Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), was outraged at this “deliberate disruption of people's right to hear and hold different opinions,” but also criticized the parish for cancelling the event.  “When we back down, we become enablers,” she said.  “It's pretty hard to help people when you refuse to stand up for what you believe in.”

Lizotte told that after the first evening, some upset parishioners, “instead of coming, instead of seeing what was going on, … simply sent [the session's information] to a pro-gay association.”  That information was then sent to the press, sparking a media flurry. 

“The pro-gay movement started threats to send pro-gay activists,” he said.  “So we had to cancel the sessions.”

The media, he says, is labelling him “a radical Catholic,” and claiming that his position is unscientific.  One journalist in particular, said Lizotte, wrote an article that “destroyed [his] reputation.”

Lizotte may have been referring to a La Presse blog entry by Patrick Lagacé, who accused him of having “a fixation on the gay thing,” and insinuated that he is hiding homosexual activity.

Lizotte held a press conference today in order to explain the truth about the series.  “Because my personal reputation was attacked, … I had to bring the appropriate answers,” he said.  “ did the press conference to give a chance for the people to understand better what was the goal. … It was just a desire to inform and give good education, so that people make good decisions.”

“In fact, what we're trying to defend is the freedom of choice,” he said, “the self-determination of the parents, because they are responsible for their kids.  We want to give them as much information as possible about the integration of their sexual identity.”

On November 4th, Lizotte's series was the subject of a television debate hosted by Mario Dumont, featuring homosexualist and pro-abortion priest Fr. Raymond Gravel and former homosexual Laurent Leclerc.  Fr. Gravel, who has persistently defied Church teaching on life and family issues, maintained that one “can't come out of homosexuality.”

Lizotte began his research into homosexuality five years ago, and it was then that he discovered the “phenomenon of ex-gays.”  He conducted interviews with these former homosexuals and with therapists specializing in reorientation therapy, which culminated in a book entitled Homosexuality: the Myths and the Facts (L’homosexualité : les mythes et les faits).

While he says no non-religious publisher has been interested in the book, he was told by many people who read it that he should “organize sessions to help parents to know the truth about homosexuality. … So that they can raise their kids without doing the mistake of introducing a trauma in the integration of their [kids'] natural sexual identity.”

He got a team together and recruited some former homosexuals to offer testimonies.  But after the outcry, says Lizotte, he has “serious concerns for [the series'] future.”

Despite his effort to salvage the reputation of his project, “so far, what I hear from the media is that they will try again to destroy all the credit I have,” he said.  “So what I see from now, [is that] it will be harder to organize that session.  I don't want to say it's dead, but I have serious concerns for its future.”

According to Lizotte, “the situation [in Quebec] is maybe worse than outside Quebec.”  He said the province is “very … socially liberal” and “very relativistic.”  “I don't know why but as soon as you talk about homosexuality, to say that studies show that it's possible to change for those who are willing to do that – the success rate is around 38%,” he explained.  “As soon as you say that, you are homophobic.”

PFOX's Regina Griggs asked, “Shouldn't you be able to make the decision, whether it's a parent or someone who's not happy or has unwanted same-sex attraction?” “I believe people have a right to all of the information,” she said, otherwise, “it becomes tyranny.  It's no longer a democracy [when] people have to fear for their lives, or fear to hold an opinion.”

“How can you allow that?” she asked.  “We're about saving souls, we're about providing alternate information to people who obviously aren't happy. … So I think we have to do something to be more active as parents and as priests, because if we don't, then we're enabling these unhappy people, and at the same time, we're denying those we need to be helping. Who wins when they do that?” did not hear back from Fr. Lepine before press time.

See related coverage:

Quebec Priest Denies Possibility of Sexual Reorientation Therapy on TV