Man launches petition to put an end to gay ‘cure’ therapy: ‘praying the gay away nearly killed me’

(Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

A man in Australia has launched a petition to put an end to gay “cure” therapy.

The man, known only as Chris, has gained over 12,000 signatures at the time of writing on a petition that calls for the Australian Minister for Health (Ken Wyatt) and Prime Minister (Malcolm Turnbull) to “condemn conversion therapy and outlaw the practice for minors”.

Chris was subjected to the ex-gay course Living Waters, which boasts that it can “cure” homosexuality.

“Trying to “Pray the Gay Away” nearly killed me.

“I’m not the only one. So-called conversion therapy can cause depression, self-loathing and even suicide.

“I prayed to God asking him to either heal me, or kill me. I was so depressed, I wanted to die,” he explained.

At the sessions Chris attended from the age of 17, members of the groups were told to speak about their “sins”.

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull

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The shame this involved in him meant that he stayed celibate until 24 because he didn’t want to embrace his sexuality.

Although he only started the gay “cure” programme at 17, he explained that he felt shame around his sexuality since the age of 10.

He said: “I believed that something was innately wrong with me.

“For years I even thought I may be demon-possessed because of the things I was taught as a young person.

“When I was older, I was still vulnerable and desperate enough to join the program, hoping it would be my cure and help me to be a better Christian.

“It took years of healing after leaving the program to be proudly gay. But those years still affect me somewhat… how could they not?”

(Photo: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Chris explained that he wants the petition to prevent future LGBTQ+ kids from being harmed by the same “therapy” that led him to believe he was “evil or demonic”.

“Gay conversion therapy has no place in our medical profession and certainly not in the lives of minors,” he added.

Gay “cure” therapy has been condemned by leading bodies around the world, including the United Nations.

Last year, the Australian state Victoria announced that the Health Complaints Commissioner would be launching an investigation into gay “conversion” therapy practices and banning them.

However, it is only officially banned in Victoria.

Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory are considering enacting laws to crack down on the controversial practice.

Malta, Taiwan and Brazil are currently the only countries in the world who have a nationwide ban.

However, the ban is currently being litigated in Brazil after a federal judge approved the use of the practice by a psychologist in 2017, overruling the 1999 decision by the Federal Council of Psychology to issue a ban.

They have pledged to appeal the ruling by the Brasília judge.