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Rev Fred Nile strongly defends reparative therapy for homosexuals

Friday 15 November 2013


In his speech to the NSW Parliament on Thursday 14 November 2013, Mr Nile stated the following:

REPARATIVE THERAPY

Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE [3.44 p.m.]: On 24 October 2013 in the Legislative Assembly the Independent member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, moved a motion condemning reparative therapy. The motion stated:
That this House:
1. Notes that the Australian Psychological Society has referred to so-called "reparative therapy" treatment as harmful.

2. Notes that there is no scientific research to substantiate the claims that medical and psychological treatment can change a person's sexual orientation.

Without warning the motion was moved, debated and passed on the voices in the Legislative Assembly in less than 15 minutes just before lunch After Mr Greenwich spoke, four others promptly supported the motion. No-one presented a different viewpoint. I seek to do that now. Mr Greenwich said:
Reparative therapy seeks to use counselling, psychotherapy; prayer and group sessions to attempt to turn a gay or lesbian person straight, or to help them manage their homosexuality so they can live a straight or celibate life. In the past, electroconvulsive therapy has been used.

Mr Greenwich and the Australian Psychological Society apparently do not realise that "reparative therapy" is a fairly recent term. It was coined in 1991 by United States clinical psychologist Dr Joseph Nicolosi and describes his counselling treatment for men who came to him for help with their unwanted same-sex attractions. Dr Nicolosi seeks to explore and repair family and/or other relationships that may have contributed to their feelings. Reparative therapy is a term sometimes loosely and wrongly used by others to mean any kind of treatment for same-sex attracted people whether or not it is properly conducted. Dr Nicolosi's treatment is conducted by professionally trained therapists. It does not involve electroconvulsive therapy or any kind of coercion.

Dr Nicolosi's book Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality: A New Clinical Approach, which was published in the late 1990s, explains the rationale for his approach in helping those who genuinely want help, not those who have felt pressured by others to seek treatment. Over time a significant number of Dr Nicolosi's patients have experienced a real change in their feelings and sexual compulsions. However, some of his patients may have been able to change without the help of counselling. Large surveys conducted in the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States have asked people about their sexual attractions and then asked the same questions five or more years later. The researchers found that significant numbers of young people identifying as gay or lesbian at age 16 later said they no longer had those feelings and were now heterosexual—without any kind of therapy. A few change in the other direction from heterosexual to homosexual. This should not be surprising because studies of identical twins show that being gay, lesbian or bisexual is not inherited.

Lady Gaga's song Born This Way is very popular, but while she is right about skin colour she is wrong about so-called "gay genes". Identical twins have the same genes and the same hormone exposure in the womb. But when one identical twin is homosexual his co-twin is heterosexual in nearly 90 per cent of cases. The major factors influencing sexual orientation are various life experiences that may be perceived differently even by siblings in the same family. Dr Nicolosi found that many of his male patients had impaired relationships with their fathers, undermining their sense of masculine identity. Not all male homosexuals have this experience. Some have revealed that their family life was happy but school bullying was traumatic. Others were molested by older boys or adult paedophiles who showed affection that the younger boy craved. For others, homosexual pornography played a part. These are only some of the reported influences.

There is evidence on the public record that properly conducted reparative therapy has helped many men and teens. They sought therapy because they wanted to marry a woman and have children naturally or because they did not want the significant physical and emotional health risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle. People have even sought therapy in the Netherlands, where homosexuality carries no stigma. One man recently recorded his therapy experience in a video online. He had been sexually and emotionally abused at the age of five. He repressed those memories but in puberty he had homosexual feelings that deeply disturbed him. He did not want them. He was greatly helped by reparative therapy, which banished his suicidal thoughts and restored his self-esteem. His heterosexual feelings increased 100 per cent. For this man, and many others, reparative therapy has not been harmful; it has literally saved their lives. It should be available to those who seek it.