14 September 2006
Medial Release

In a recent email newsletter (read below) to his supporters, Peter Stokes of the Christian lobby group the Salt Shakers, has falsely claimed that the American Psychological Association (APA) have done a turn around and now believe it’s okay to practice “reparative” or “conversion” therapies.

“I was quite surprised when it was brought to my attention” said Anthony Venn-Brown “because I’d read the exact opposite only days before.”

“For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The APA’s concern about the positions espoused by the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality,(NARTH) and so-called conversation therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.”
American Psychological Association Statement August 2006

Anthony Venn-Brown knows of the psychological damage caused to younger and older Christians who are told they must change their same sex attraction in order to be accepted by the church. Anthony attended the first live-in exgay program in Australia in 1973 and for the last 6 years has worked with survivors of these programs.

“After checking my sources, and his, I immediately informed Mr Stokes of the falseness of his statements and how damaging propagating misinformation is. I requested politely that he make a correction and do it as soon as possible. He has yet to acknowledge his error either to me or publicly. It’s not only irresponsible for the Salt Shakers to make false statements that people can change their sexual orientation, I thought it was unchristian to lie.”

“Mr Stokes regularly speaks of people who have left the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ but I know from my own experience how false these claims are. I thought I had overcome my homosexuality and was cured so I got married. Eventually though I had to be completely honest that even after 16 years of marriage and two children I was still gay. If we look at the Kinsey continuum I know where I lie and it’s not even close to bisexuality, my needle is banging on the gay end,” Venn-Brown said. “Coming to terms with the truth was very traumatic for me, my ex-wife and children and I’d like to ensure no one goes through the pain and suffering we did.”

“Ex-gay programs have been operating for three decades now and have an horrific history of failure. Whilst some claim to no longer be homosexual but heterosexual, there is no scientific evidence to support this. The only evidence for their new found heterosexuality is that they are married and have children or that they no longer engage in same sex activity. In reality, they have not changed their orientation only their behaviour. Some live a secret life, having occasional encounters with people of the same sex but do not come out, as they have too much to lose. i.e. marriage, respect of family members, rejection by the children they love, position in the church etc. They continue to live a lie with a façade of heterosexuality not always purposely deceiving but certainly self deceiving,” Venn-Brown said.

“I find it strange that groups like the Salt Shakers are so obsessed with the issue and continue to distribute false statements, half truths and misinformation about sexual orientation. By doing this they actually contribute to the suicides amongst gay and lesbian youth. It’s been estimated that is one every 5 hours in the US.” Venn-Brown concluded.

Salt Shakers Newsletter 1/09/2006

Homosexuals CAN change and they “should be allowed to do so” – says APA President

The American Psychological Association (APA) has changed its stance on re-orientation therapy, acknowledging that change is possible.

Some want to deny the evidence that change can occur despite all the evidence that it HAS occurred in many lives, with many EX-homosexuals testifying to their own life changing experiences.

Misinformation about re-orientation therapy is rife, it includes suggestions that it still involves electric shock treatment and even abuse. This is false. It is about dealing with, by good counselling,  the reasons people think they are homosexual, dealing with past abuse, dysfunctional adult child bonding, and, in some cases, dealing with spiritual matters involved in creating people’s identities.

The Christian church needs to be a place where the message of healing and wholeness is always given alongside the stand that homosexuality is a part of what the Bible calls ‘sexual immorality’ – unnatural sexual behaviour and identity.

Change is NOT just an ‘American’ thing – many Australian homosexuals have left the lifestyle – we know some personally!

It is rarely easy – no addiction is easy to kick least of al sexual addiction – but it is certainly possible and people need to know the truth.

There have been a number of TV programs recently where people, mainly homosexuals, have claimed that change is not possible – even in Australia we have people like Justice Michael Kirby who continue t suggest homosexuality is innate. It is NOT innate and we must tell the world before too many confused young people get locked into believing the lie that you can be “born” homosexual.

Peter P Stokes
Co Founder & Executive Officer
Salt Shakers Inc
Ph: 03 9800 2855
Mb: 0413 084 145