Watch: New documentary looks at the devastating effects of gay conversion therapy

'Homotherapy - A Religious Sickness' looks at movements which use Christianity and psychoanalysis to justify the cruel practice.

A woman on her knees with her head hung low prays in a church

A startling new documentary has just been released which looks at the effects of gay conversion therapy on those who have undergone the callous process.

Available to view online for a limited time, Homotherapy – A Religious Sickness addresses how even today, there are those who consider homosexuality as a disease which needs to be cured. The documentary takes a look at religious movements with roots in the US that have spread their homophobic ideologies across Canada, France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The investigation depicts how, with the support of religious authorities and psychologists and psychiatrists, these networks use Christianity to justify their actions. As well as looking at those who support and carry out the practices, the documentary also looks at the devastating, sometimes life-long, effects of gay conversion therapy.

Homotherapy – A Religious Sickness is available to view here.

At the beginning of this year, former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, condemned gay conversion therapy, stating that it had done “untold damage” to men she had met. “I follow the coffins of young men who have gone through these bogus conversion therapies thanks to the church.”

Conversion therapy is a practice which involves a pseudoscientific method of ‘curing’ any form of homosexuality. In the past, these methods included exorcisms, electric shock therapy, and lobotomy, and medical procedures performed by those with no medical training. Nowadays, the most common form of conversion therapy is intensive religious counselling.

However, despite multiple accounts of the horrors of the practice, it remains legal in most Western countries, including Ireland and the majority of states in the US, although in 2019 Washington became the first state to outlaw it.

Earlier this year, Dominic Hannigan, who was one of the first two openly gay TDs in Ireland, stated, “These grotesque practices are based on religious fundamentalism, rather than evidence-based science. Conversion programmes have been condemned by the United Nations and the Psychological Society of Ireland, amongst many other professional bodies. They are profoundly damaging, not only for the young people forced to participate in the programmes, but also because of the impact they have on the wider LGBT community.”

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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