Thursday, September 06, 2007

Exgay counselor convicted for sexual assault.

One of the more strange oddities on the Religious Right has been the so-called ex-gay movement. Most the activists in this movement have always been heterosexual and are engaging in a thinly disguised anti-gay campaign. A few gay men, who are deeply religious, mostly in fundamentalist sects, are also involved seeking to be "cured".

Some such individuals even claim cures. Numerous such individuals have come and gone over the years. Often they simply disappear into the night never to be seen again. Others continue on in a "ministry" to cure gay people and often get caught being anything but ex-gay. The grandfather of the movement was Guy Charles who started one of the original ex-gay ministries and continued until he was caught seducing the men he was supposedly curing. Others just reached the point where they admitted that the "cure" was a lie.

Now another ex-gay counselor from Texas has ended his "therapy". Christopher Austin ran an outfit called Renew Ministries and was affiliated with the anti-gay National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. Austin gave talks to NARTH seminars on how treating gay men for "compulsive sexual behavior." Austin, who operated in Texas, won't be in business any longer. A jury convicted of sexually assaulting the men who came to him for therapy. Several of his clients testified against him and the jury convicted him of sexual assault. He was sentenced to seven years probation, fined $2,500 and has to register as a sex offender.