Australian Christian Counsellors Say No to Conversion Therapy

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Australian Christian Counsellors Say No to Conversion Therapy

With all the recent media attention about gay conversion therapy (GCT), one voice has remained silent; the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia (CCAA). A report released today reveals that two years ago, the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia, revised their code of ethics which stated that no members were to work with clients modifying or changing their sexual orientation.

The author of the report, Anthony Venn-Brown, of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI), reveals why the CCAA have been secretive and that their code of ethics is not always believed or followed.

The CCAA is the peak body for religious counsellors and therapists which registers professionally trained Christian counsellors and provides professional accountability.

The 27 page report,  gives an in-depth, behind the scenes look at GCT in Australia. It includes communications between religious GCT advocates, the initial and long term impacts of individuals who’ve experienced GCT and the challenges that lie ahead to have the practice banned altogether.

Venn-Brown is very familiar with the subject of the report, being one of the first in the world to experience gay conversion therapy in a religious context. After numerous exorcisms attempting to be freed from his ‘homosexual demons’, in 1972 he spent several months in a residential program to turn from gay to straight. He details this experience in a chapter of his autobiography, A Life of Unlearning, which included a change in wardrobe, attempts to masculinise him and being watched consistently by a minder.

Ultimately Venn-Brown became a high profile preacher in Australia’s megachurches till he fell in love with a man at the age of forty, resigned from the ministry and came out.

Since 2000, Venn-Brown has worked with religious GCT survivors and worked to see organisations ‘ex-gay’ organisations close down in Australia by holding them accountable to their false claims.  There is still much more to do according to him.

‘Seeing the formal ‘ex-gay’ organisations, like Exodus, close down was only phase one’ Venn-Brown said. ‘Our biggest challenge lies in the religious belief that ‘homosexuality is a sin’, still prevalent in evangelical and Pentecostal churches and being currently propagated by footballer, Israel Folau.’

‘I hope my report will be a positive contribution that will bring GCT to an end in Australia. But more importantly that like Alan Chambers, the former president of Exodus International, churches around Australia will say “we were wrong, forgive us” and the healing process for so many sexuality and gender diverse people from faith backgrounds can begin.’ Venn-Brown concluded.

Read the full report HERE.

By |2018-07-15T22:58:14+00:00May 11th, 2018|Categories: Conversion therapy, Media release|2 Comments

About the Author:

Anthony Venn-Brown
Anthony Venn-Brown is one of Australia’s foremost commentators on faith and sexuality. His best-selling autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith', details his journey from being one of the first in the world to experience religious gay conversion therapy, becoming a married, high profile preacher in Australia's growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, to living as an openly gay man. Anthony was the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b. He is an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy myth. Anthony is the founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International. Anthony has been recognised on a number of occassions for his contribution and impact including being twice voted one of 'The 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’.

2 Comments

  1. Kate May 12, 2018 at 7:50 am - Reply

    From nationally legislated equality to an apology from the churches, that would be fair.

    It may never happen, but in the meantime we all deserve safety, basic respect and equal access to help services, without the potential of religious weaponry drawn up against us.

    We all deserve to raise families in communities where all family members are loved with care, not outcast and demonised.

    We all deserve the truth.

  2. Noel Thorpe July 15, 2018 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Alice in Wonderland !!!
    I like this story.
    Has lots of meaningful things in it.

    Yes we do deserve the truth.
    Christ said the truth will set you free.
    There is a long road to knowing the truth.
    None of us asked to come here to this world.
    We should all be treated with respect and equally and treat others with the same respect.

    Some families can be very soul destroying and mean will. Not just personal family but our church family as well.

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