Rupert Murdoch’s national The Australian newspaper has printed controversial claims by an anti-marriage equality activist and ex-gay proponent that being molested during childhood can make you gay.
In a column entitled ‘Gay marriage is not the cure’ Dr David van Gend of the anti-same-sex marriage Australian Marriage Forum claimed that young LGBTs suffered worse mental health than their heterosexual peers, not because of homophobia, but because of their sexuality, and implied that homosexuality was a treatable disease.
‘From my observations, the pressures that depress a young gay man are more intrinsic than extrinsic,’ Van Gend wrote
“The sense that something has gone wrong deep inside, the depressing effect of what he might experience as compulsive sexual behavior, the unresolved anger where he sees the cause of his sexual confusion to be childhood abuse by a trusted adult.
‘It trivializes a homosexual’s suffering to blame it primarily on a homophobic society. The associated claim that parliament must legalize gay marriage or be culpable for gay suicide is folly.
‘Professional help and neighborly kindness is needed, not gay marriage and gay sex-education.’
Van Gend was commenting in support of claims by Australian Christian Lobby managing director Jim Wallace that homosexuality was more dangerous than smoking, which lead Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to decide against speaking at the organization’s national conference.
Van Gend, who is also the Queensland secretary of the anti-abortion World Federation of Doctors who Respect Human Life, has in the past claimed that, ‘homosexuals who want to become heterosexual can and do change.’
‘Given the will, and skilled therapy, there can be an end to the nightmare of same-sex attraction.’