New Zealand has tossed a purely anti-gay organization to the curb after it had applied for charitable status in the country.
Exodus Global Alliance, an U.S.-based religious organisation whose goal is to keep alive the myth that gay people can be cured through reparative therapy and prayer, was seeking tax benefits through charitable status before it was soundly rejected. The commission reviewing the application was thorough in their justification, noting that since homosexuality was not a recognized mental disorder, it did not need curing. While the commission cited the American Psychological Association in their decision, they could have just as easily added the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counselling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and several other well-respected organisations who have all gone on record to say that sexual orientation not only isn’t a disorder, and not only can’t be changed, but that all attempts to treat homosexuality as a disorder can cause significant psychological harm.
Knowing this, Exodus has been very careful recently when advertising its claims. A careful observer will note that they don’t even define what they mean when they say homosexuals can “change” (normally this amounts to promoting lifelong chastity). Still, that doesn’t stop countless people from trying their methods, fed by the bizarre claim that there are tens of thousands of “ex-gays” out there.
In reality, Exodus is doing demonstrable, but incalculable, harm to people everywhere. The ministries’ success stories amount, essentially, to brainwashing. A large number of participants end up confused and depressed after being taught to hate their natural sexual orientation. It’s not a surprise therefore that the group’s failures are spectacular. Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, two of Exodus’ co-founders, quit the group shortly after they formed it and married each other in a commitment ceremony. In 2007, two other former Exodus leaders joined Bussee and issued an apology for their role in the organisation, saying that they are all openly gay. Just this year, Bussee confessed that he had never seen one Exodus member actually change their sexual orientation.
Given all this, it’s expected that New Zealand would have rejected the application for charitable status, but it’s not a surprise that Exodus was seeking it. Exodus is primarily a religious organisation with a strong political goal that relies on the worldwide spread of their myth. Anti-gay lobby groups use the existence of organisations like Exodus to promote the notion that there is no such thing as gay people—only straight people who are caught in sin. And with no such thing as a real gay person, there’s no need for equal rights such as marriage, employment and housing protections, and so forth.
Good for New Zealand for siding with the medical community and seeing through all of Exodus’ nonsense. It’s too bad Canada isn’t as wise in this respect. Exodus Global Alliance is, sadly, a registered charity in Canada.
- No tax break in work to ‘cure’ homosexuals [The Press]