News :: International

S. African School Claims It Can ’Cure’ Gay Students

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Jan 15, 2013
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Officials from a Christian arts academy in Bloemfontein, South Africa, claim they can "cure" gay students of their sexual orientation through a "rehabilitation" program, South Africa’s Sunday Times reports.

Gay rights activists, however, have criticized the Creare Training Center, which is located in the capital city of the Free State Province, by calling the situation "tragic, shameful and deeply hurtful," the newspaper notes.

Creare bills itself as a "theocentric arts, skills and ministry training centre." Crear mostly specializes in Bible studies, arts and missionary work.

The school’s prospectus claims it only wants to improve "the quality of life" for its students, Pink News points out. The school boasts it cane cure homosexuality with its "rehabilitation" program.

According to Creare’s prospectus, gay students who do not want to change their lifestyle, will not be accepted into the school. The academy’s founder, Cornelius Van Heyningen, denies Creare’s policies are anti-gay.

"We are catering for those who say ’I want to change as a homosexual,’" he told the Sunday Times. "That’s not saying no homosexuals are allowed."

According to the Bloemfontein Volksblad, the school offers a "ministry" for those who want to change their sexual orientation.

"We believe that all people are precious to God and that He has a fantastic dream [for] everyone," Van Heyningen told the Volksblad. "No person may be discriminated against. Nobody has the right to judge another, or in any way harm. As every man may exercise his rights to position himself as gay, either by his belief that he was born or external experiences, that person may exercise his rights by choosing to change his orientation as gay."

"We believe that the human rights of the person who wants to change his sexual orientation should facilitate, as the human rights of such people often disregarded," Van Heyningen continued. "The facilitation of its human rights should take place in an environment that is supportive of his process of change."

LGBT activists are slamming the school’s officials. Dawie Nel, director of an organization called Out, told the Sunday Times that the school is breaking South African laws. "Their comments fuel violent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, such as the rape of gays and lesbians to ’cure’ them; or even murders being committed," he said.

Melanie Nathan, a South African LGBT rights advocate and lawyer based in the U.S., told Gay Star News that the school’s discrimination against gay men and lesbians is illegal under the nation’s constitution, the only one in the world that guarantees LGBT rights.

"Not only is this blatant discrimination under the South African Law, ’Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2006’, but worse is Heyningen’s assertion that gays can be ’cured,’" she said. "It is a myth and quackery to assert such claims, whether done in the name of the Bible, God or therapy. The American Psychiatric Association refers to the great dangers of these types of assertions: ’The potential risks of ’reparative therapy’ are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient.’"

The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2006 is an anti-discrimination law that protects individuals based on sexual orientation, race, age, disability, marital status and several other factors. Same-sex couple have been able to marry in South Africa since 2006.

Comments

  • DerekJA, 2013-01-16 11:24:36

    AGAIN, I HATE RELIGIONS!! Notice that almost all this anti-Gay bullshit we keep seeing always has a base in fake "bible" teachings? We don’t need a cure for being Gay. It’s as natural as straight or bi. What we do need a cure for, and fast, is the deep mental illness these religious zealots keep pushing down everyone’s throats! I swear if religion didn’t exist, we’d have a lot less discrimination snd wars. Think about it. Religions have caused more strife and death than anything else in human history.


  • gdhamf, 2013-01-17 05:34:13

    Well it is nice to know that the entire continent of Africa is not bat shit crazy, as for this school yup, they are nutty as a fruitcake!


  • Anonymous, 2013-01-18 01:08:22

    DerekJA, I also don’t like religions. Its a man made thing and not from God. Thats why I went to Creare for my training. You see, if you are saved through the grace of God, you are in a relationship with the creator of this earth, not in a religion. Creare has a course you may attend which teaches about religion and the evil it brings into the world.


  • DerekJA, 2013-01-18 04:19:01

    I should have been clearer. I also do not believe in this god that people believe in. I do not believe in some supreme being - well, except my amazing Husband, who I’m celebrating 20 years together tomorrow! :) - You see, I’m a science guy and have heard all the same nonsensical arguments before. To be honest, I have little respect for people who just believe in an nonexistent, invisible entity and their need to put faith in said invisible entity to survive. When I left the church decades ago, they told me then that I’d have a hole in my heart; a void. It turns out, the opposite was true. I found MYSELF and realized that I don’t need to believe in some fake being to be happy. So yeah... I do not and never have believed in god... and I had tried when younger.


  • Imbibe, 2013-01-30 03:15:01

    Religion is often a forum for homophobia but it is not the cause. Even the allegedly pro gay ancient Greeks and Romans held a man at lower rank if he was the "bottom". Every known communist or socialist state by manifesto atheist also persecuted homosexuals. Homophobia is not about religion. It is an often inate bias in favor of procreation. The early survival and evolution of humans surely depended on making babies. Our current march towards tolerance is a product modern public health and the now common likelyhood of a live birth surviving to adulthood. An era of humankind secure in its survival is more tolerant of variations long earlier generations would’ve thought best suited for culling, just as an ancient robust generation of anglo-saxon wouldn’t have hesitated to delete the feeble life of Stephen Hawking. Homophobia is about biology and evolution not religion. Religion is man’s forum, scalable to human ability. God loves all his creation. And the purpose of religion, judeo-Christian faith in particular is to know God.


  • Imbibe, 2013-01-30 03:50:49

    DerekJA. All your jumping up and down about the non-existense of God is also something you cannot prove. So, your belief system is also based on the arguably non-existent. Atheists usually bluster about, parading themselves around as more intelligent than the dissent. Yet you show off a lacking in both emotional and cognitive IQ in bragging that you do not respect people who unlike you believe in God, people like Martin Luther King or Father Mychal Judge.


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