Hilary White

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UK pushes to outlaw reparative therapy ahead of gay 'marriage' vote

Hilary White
Hilary White

LONDON, February 19, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – While pressure continues at the international level to prohibit psychotherapists from offering help to those wanting to overcome same-sex attraction, a Canadian therapist has told a British audience that such bans are “unethical.” A debate, billed as a discussion on the “legitimacy and freedom to offer sexual reorientation,” was held at Westminster in late January organized by Christian Concern and Core Issues Trust ahead of a debate in the House of Commons on the government’s “gay marriage” bill.

Dr. Joseph Berger, a consultant psychiatrist at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Canada, and a practitioner of “change therapy,” attended the debate and said it “absolutely horrifies” him that some professional therapy organizations in Britain are attempting to prohibit therapists from offering it.

“There should be absolutely no ban on any such treatment. In fact, I consider it unethical to propose such bans,” Berger said.

In the debate, Berger said, “The idea to me in terms of any group coming and saying that should not be permitted in terms of people wanting to question their same-sex thoughts and desires and behaviors -- that is what is unethical. That people would seek to stop that, would seek to ban it, would seek to try to throw such therapists out of their professional bodies, that to me is absolutely horrendous.”

Homosexual political activist Peter Tatchell, who was also on the debate panel, framed the issue entirely as a matter of “homophobia.' Tatchell said, “These therapists are not seeking to independently, objectively analyze sexual orientation.” Tatchell claimed that there is no evidence that the therapy works, saying it is wrong to give people “false hope” and that “we know from the evidence that there is virtually no possibility for 99.9 percent of people.”

But Dr. Berger said there is “tons” of evidence that contradicts this axiom of the homosexualist movement. “Considerable proportions” of people who come forward asking for help, “some studies suggest 33 percent, to other studies that come up as high as 79 percent,” have been helped. He added that claims that these therapies are harmful are anecdotal. Berger added, “I treat people, not homosexuality.”

Dr. Michael Davidson, a therapist whose credentials are under threat for offering therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction, also attended the debate. He says that if such therapy is banned, it will limit the freedom and choices of clients, effectively cutting them off from the help they want.

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Dr. Davidson welcomed the chance to debate the topic in public. “For me, the goal of the day really is to have true debate,” he said. “Because I think one of the dangers in the UK at the moment is that we’ve pretty well closed down on this debate. And it’s very difficult to get a range of people with different points of view discussing this issue.” Davidson was up before a professional conduct inquiry on February 1st.

Psychiatric and psychological professional associations in the UK have moved towards banning the therapy and have already penalised some who practice it. Last year the UK’s Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) published guidelines for therapists that say, “offering, or agreeing to the client’s request for therapy for the reduction of same sex attraction is not in a client’s best interests.”

They call it “exploitative” to offer treatment “that might ‘cure’ or ‘reduce’ same sex attraction” saying that “there is no illness.”

“It is exploitative to offer treatment to reduce same sex attraction when various studies bring into question whether such treatments change a person’s sexuality,” they say.

In related news, following the House of Commons Debate on the “marriage equality” bill, another British therapist, Lesley Pilkington, told LifeSiteNews.com that the issue has been deliberately turned away from the realities by homosexual activist groups like Stonewall.

Pilkington, who has also been attacked for her efforts to help people with unwanted same-sex attractions, maintains that the obsession of the political class with undefined “equality rights” has blinded them to the real harms of normalising homosexual behavior and ideology, both for individuals and for the social good.

She cites the medical information and statistics for self-harm, self-hatred, serious psychological illness for active homosexuals, which she says are growing along with societal acceptance. Homosexual behaviour is “incredibly bad for the individual, it is destructive to the person and to our nation.”

She called the emphasis on “equality” in the Commons debate on the bill “distressing”. She noted the reliance of politicians on the talking points of the homosexualist movement. “One wonders who actually is running this campaign,” Pilkington said.

Equalities Minister Maria Miller led the debate for the government, echoed by her opposition counterpart, saying it would “strengthen marriage” and society, and offering the a mantra that homosexual partners are “entitled to a marriage” for the sake of a “loving, stable relationship”.

Pilkington told LifeSiteNews, “David Cameron and most of Parliament have such hubris that they are determined to redefine marriage as God has determined it should be, which we have had for centuries and which all the science says works best for the wellbeing of children and their heterosexual parents, and thus for society in general.

“Seemingly they are unable to understand that marriage only has meaning within a Judeo-Christian context; without that context it has no meaning. What now is adultery and therefore fidelity?

“No longer do we have respect for the mystical union of man and woman and the act of procreation; equating it instead to gay ‘sex.’ This nation has in effect legalized sodomy and we have disgracefully called it ‘marriage,” she said.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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