Using sexual wholeness ministries
Synonyms: Ministering to persuade against homosexual behaviour
Context: Various churches and religious organizations have designed "sexual wholeness ministries" for those who practice gay sex to choose to become celibate or even heterosexual. The ministries are run on the firm belief that gay men and women can change. Ministries offer residential courses of considerable time, where the clients are supervised, follow religious programmes, and must remain celibate. Those who opt for sexual wholeness ministries tend to be more often Christians.
Implementation: In Britain, an evangelical Christian charity called the Courage Trust is running a strict residential course for gay men who want to be straight. The clients live together and their lives are strictly governed. Attendance at Church is compulsory, holidays are not allowed, visitors for clients and client outings are supervised or accompanied. The course last one year, during which the client must remain celibate.
Claim: The Church believes gay sex is a sin. Some gays attending such courses may be disillusioned with the gay life, and may be unable to continue their lifestyle because they are Christians or otherwise. Other clients wish they could have families and don't want to be lonely. A number of former clients, while they may not claim to be cured, have expressed to have found freedom from compulsion, and/or have lost a fear of women.
Counter Claim: None of the clients who have been through the Courage Trust course during the last five years have married and around 80 percent were managing to live a celibate life. Some have gone back or partially back to gay life. It is deceptive to offer the prospect to a gay person that their sexual orientation can or should be altered because of religious conviction.
Type Classification: J: Unconfirmed strategies