60 Minutes tonight: pray the gay away

pray the gay away 60 minutes lgbtiq conversion therapy

Channel 9’s 60 Minutes will tonight expose “the unregulated world of religious counselling designed to switch off homosexuality.” The program claims an undercover investigation will reveal the methods used by some Australian churches to ‘eradicate’ homosexuality through LGBTIQ conversion therapy.  It promises an expose of attempts to ‘pray the gay away’.

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The show will include secret footage obtained by a former victim of LGBTIQ conversion therapy.

He apparently spent three months undercover using hidden cameras to film inside fundamentalist churches.

The show says those churches spread damaging messages to mainly young Australian they deem ‘broken’.

“He reveals an insidious religious world of counselling and minister intervention for anyone questioning their sexuality.

“There was one clear and damaging message during most of the undercover interactions: it is a sin to be gay.”

John Smid

The show also features John Smid, former director of one of  America’s biggest ‘ex-gay’ Christian ministries.  Joel Edgerton previously told Smid’s story in the movie ‘Boy Erased’.

Now that he no longer attempts to convert people from homosexuality himself, Smid says he is ‘ashamed’ of the harm he caused.

“I’ve seen a lot of despair, I’ve seen a lot of depression, I’ve seen a lot of harm as a result of our attempts.”

Not Ashamed

Apparently unashamed is Martyn Iles of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) who also appears on the show.

Iles will host Israel Folau as a guest speaker at the ACL’s NOT ASHAMED national conference on 19 October.

QNews.com.au reported on the upcoming 60 Minutes story months ago when Iles filmed his part in it.

Iles previously complained about Victorian laws banning conversion therapy. He expressed doubt the practice even occurred in Australia.

Further, he defended the right to ‘pray the gay away’.

“Are we to criminalise a pastor who prays for a church member who has asked to be prayed for? Or ban people voluntarily getting together to support each other in counselling or support groups?”

It sounds so innocuous.

But the experience of LGBTIQ people who survive conversion therapy is not of a kindly old pastor saying, “I’ll pray for you son.”

Nor do survivors mention ‘support groups’.

Instead, they talk of “praying, being prayed over, and introspecting, self-censoring and even participating in exorcisms.”

Iles appears to be prepared for a backlash for his appearance on the show, mocking its objectivity in a Facebook post.

“Do be sure to tune in for what is obviously the most objective, agenda-free, fair-minded, evidence-based, thoughtful and sincere analysis of Christian theology around same-sex attraction… 🤪 🙄”

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