Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mercy Ministries to applicants: "Have you ever been in any form of same-sex relationships?"

The initial form used to ask if they'd been involved in lesbianism, but apparently the wording changed in 2006.

What looks to be the last of the Herald's articles on the matter was posted today, and details Mercy Ministries' explicit link to the American ex-gay movement. Article available online here.

The claim is that people subjected to Mercy Ministries' treatment are given a video series to watch that was made by prominent American ex-gay Sy Rogers. it's the usual stuff: homosexuality is not God's plan, homosexuals can change (for a certain given value of "change", anyway). Disturbingly, women who have gone to Mercy Ministries for issues completely unrelated to homosexuality claim that they were required to watch these videos as part of their treatment. The focus on teaching about the evils of homosexuality seems to have far more prominence than you'd expect from a place ostensibly intended to help people deal with their own personal problems:
"While I was there, we received much teaching on the evils of gay and lesbian lifestyles," said Naomi Johnson, who spent nine months in the ministry's Sydney house.

Mercy Ministries denies that they are running an ex-gay program. This is technically accurate - their ministry is not an explicitly ex-gay one - but somewhat misleading in my opinion: they still teach that homosexuality is a moral sickness, and teach that it can be "cured".

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