26 Apr 2011

UK teacher's union says endemic homophobic bullying in schools likely to rise as faith schools increase



The Independent - UK April 26, 2011

Faith schools are failing to challenge 'endemic' homophobia, teachers say

By Richard Garner, Education Editor




Homophobic bullying in schools is "endemic" and likely to rise with the impending growth in the number of faith schools, teachers warn.

The Catholic Church has already openly criticised the nationally agreed code of conduct for teachers that requires them to "proactively challenge discrimination" in school, teachers claim.

Delegates at the National Union of Teachers' conference in Harrogate added that the failure to tackle discrimination would be exacerbated by the setting up of new "free" schools – many run by religious groups – from September.

A motion overwhelmingly backed by delegates said: "Some religious schools believe they are above the law and can do anything that they believe is line with their religious beliefs."

Dave Brinson, of the union's executive, told the conference: "Discrimination, intolerance and bigotry have not gone away. They're still there and they still need to be challenged."

The motion, which also called on the union to conduct an investigation into discrimination in faith schools, was not "anti-faith schools", he said.

There were many that did a good job in combating prejudice – but there were others, "both faith-based and secular that don't challenge homophobia and discrimination".

Annette Pryce, from Buckinghamshire, said: "Homophobia is insidious for both staff and pupils – more so in faith schools."

Deborah Gwynn, from St Helens, Lancashire, revealed details of a survey which showed that 40 per cent of teachers had heard pupils use homophobic words on a daily basis. Less than half the teachers surveyed believed their schools had an effective policy for combating homophobia.

"We have to challenge the use of homophobic language by students no matter how innocent it might seem," she added. "People are using the word 'gay' and they are meaning boring, stupid or rubbish. How are you going to feel if people are using that word on a daily basis to mean something like that? We all have to challenge the use of the word 'gay' in this context."

A survey carried out by the School Health Unit for Stonewall, a lobby group on behalf of gays and lesbians, showed that almost two-thirds of gay pupils had suffered homophobic bullying at school. Of those who had been bullied, 41 per cent had been physically attacked and 17 per cent had received death threats. Half had missed schooling as a result.

Michael Dance, of Redbridge, spoke of his sorrow at seeing an ambulance coming to his school for a gay pupil who had suffered a panic attack as a result of bullying.

Leaders of the union added that teachers in faith schools could also suffer discrimination as a result of legislation that allowed heads to appoint staff on religious grounds. This could lead to favouring teachers of the particular faith of the school in promotions and appointments.

They warned that if a school did not tackle discrimination it could send a negative message to gay and lesbian pupils. "If a school has not got that commitment that our school is a safe place for all and does not challenge discrimination, the message gets through," said Mr Brinson.

"If you have a school that's not taking this problem seriously, [pupils] don't feel comfortable and feel they aren't going to be supported."

The motion warned that some schools were "unlawfully" using their faith status to avoid implementing equality policy.

It added that the conference was "alarmed by the Government's plans to push through academies and free schools" and called on the union to oppose "all groups who promote discrimination whether it is on religious grounds, e.g. evangelical Christian academies, or ideological grounds".

Of the first 11 "free" schools approved by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, four were faith-based. Those applying to set up free schools included evangelical Christians who wanted to give their school a creationist ethos, and Muslims.

Dr Oonagh Stannard, the chief executive of the Catholic Board of Education, said it had been able to support the profession's code of conduct.

"Any form of bullying is completely unacceptable," she added. "Catholic schools have been noted for their low incidence of bullying."


This article was found at:



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11 comments:

  1. The New Legal Theory That Enables Homophobic Evangelizing in Public Schools

    By Katherine Stewart, The Guardian March 29, 2012

    Last month, 8,000 public high school students in Montgomery County, Maryland, went home with fliers informing them that no one is “born gay” and offering therapy if they experienced “unwanted same-sex attraction.”

    The group behind the flier, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), isn’t the kind one expects to find represented in student backpacks. Peter Sprigg, a board member of PFOX who doubles as a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, recently told Chris Matthews that he believes “gay behavior” should be “criminalized.” PFOX president Greg Quinlan told another talk show host that gays and lesbians practice “sexual cannibalism.”

    A number of Montgomery County parents, understandably concerned about the unusual flier, filed a letter of complaint with the school district. “Everything in this flier makes it sound like the goal is to be ex-gay,” said Ms. Yount-Merrell, mother of a high-schooler. “It reiterates a societal view that there’s something wrong with you … if you aren’t heterosexual. And teenagers have a hard enough time.”

    In response to student questions, Superintendent Joshua Starr agreed that the flyer was “reprehensible and deplorable.” But he then pointed out, correctly, that he had no choice in the matter. A 2006 decision by the fourth circuit court of appeals made it clear that if the district allowed any outside groups to distribute fliers through the school, it could not exclude groups like PFOX.

    The situation in Maryland may strike many readers as an anomalous event. One would think that it involves fringe characters, is unlikely to be repeated, and can be easily fixed with a new policy.

    But none of that is true. In fact, similar events are taking place with increasing frequency nationwide, and they represent the wave of the future in America’s public schools. Indeed, at this very moment, the New York state assembly is deliberating a bill – already passed by the senate – that will allow New York’s public schools to double as a taxpayer-subsidized marketing channel for extremist groups of every variety.

    How did this happen to our schools?

    Appropriately enough, it goes back to a lesson we all used to learn in school – but that many people seem to have forgotten. America’s founders understood very well that the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state are two sides of the same coin. Only by keeping government out of the religion business can we ensure that religion may go about its business freely. They also understood that, as a consequence, freedom of religion is different from freedom of speech. Indeed, they guaranteed those two freedoms in two separate and distinct clauses of the first amendment.

    Over the past 20 years, legal advocacy groups of the religious right – a collection of entities that now command budgets totaling over $100m per year – have been pushing a new legal theory, one that has taken hold of some parts of the popular imagination and that has even been enshrined in recent judicial rulings. The essence of the theory is that religion isn’t religion, after all; it’s really just speech from a religious viewpoint. Borrowing from the rhetoric of the civil rights movements, the advocates of the new theory cry “discrimination” in the face of every attempt to treat religion as something different from any other kind of speech.

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    One implication of this novel theory is firmly embedded in the US supreme court’s 2001 6-3 decision in Milford Central School v The Good News Club. Justice Thomas stated in his majority opinion that to exclude a group from school because it is religious in nature is to discriminate against its religious viewpoint, and therefore to violate its free speech rights. No one challenges the exclusion of partisan political groups using the same thinking – we all recognize that partisan political groups are partisan in nature. But because religion alone is a “viewpoint”, opines Thomas, it is apparently different.

    The other important implication is that the establishment clause of the first amendment – the part that is supposed to keep the government out of the religion business – has been diminished, especially in school-related cases.

    Until 2006, the Montgomery school district, like almost all school districts in the nation, had a degree of discretion in the materials it sent home with kids. Few people had previously questioned the school’s authority to set aside religious and partisan political material, for example. All of that changed when a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship came to town. The Child Evangelism Fellowship is the sponsoring organization for Good News Clubs, which offer a program of sectarian indoctrination in over 3,400 public elementary schools nationwide.

    Backed by the legal advocacy groups of the religious right, the Child Evangelism Fellowship sued the school district and won the right to have its fliers distributed by the schools. The district’s policy on fliers, the majority of the fourth circuit court ruled, was not “viewpoint neutral.”

    The Child Evangelism Fellowship, in partnership with the religious advocacy groups, has litigated similar cases in numerous states, and is, at this moment, suing a school district in Arizona on the question of fliers. These efforts are all done in the name of “religious freedom,” and their advocates proudly announce their determination to fight “discrimination.” But, in fact, they undermine religious freedom and promote discrimination.

    The fundamental problem with the claim that religion is just another form of speech is that it just isn’t true. Religion is special; and notwithstanding the new legal theory, our legal and constitutional system rightfully continues to recognize it as such. Thanks to the free exercise clause, religious groups are allowed to hire and fire people and select their members without regard to the laws that constrain other employers and groups. They receive significant tax benefits.

    More to the point, religious groups are permitted to preach the kinds of doctrines – that homosexuality is an abomination, for example – for which non-religious groups would be excluded from schools and other government institutions. The cumulative effect of the court decisions based on the new legal theory is to force schools and other institutions to provide state-subsidized platforms for the dissemination of religious beliefs.

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    So, which religious groups may be expected to take advantage of this opportunity?

    Much can be learned from the experience over the past ten years in New York City, after the courts forced schools to become houses of worship on Sundays. Although the new churches represent a variety of faiths, the vast majority are conservative evangelical Christian; a substantial number of these are part of national church-planting movements that happen to preach that same-sex relationships are an abomination.

    The Child Evangelism Fellowship is represented at their national conventions by movement leaders who rail against the “homosexual agenda” and promote creationism. One keynote speaker has condemned interfaith marriage, which he referred to as “interracial marriage.” The leaders of the Alliance Defense Fund and the Liberty Counsel – the legal juggernauts that have made the new legal theory possible – have produced books whose titles say it all: The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today, and Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk.

    They are perfectly entitled to their religion, of course. They are also, by virtue of recent court decisions, now entitled to promote this religion through America’s public schools.

    The lesson we may learn from our experiences over the past decade is that the founding fathers were right, all along, in acknowledging that religion is more than simply a form of speech. They knew what some of our law-makers and policy-makers may have failed to grasp: when government gets mixed up in the religion business, no outcome is pretty.

    Katherine Stewart is the author of "The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children" (PublicAffairs). Visit her Web site or follow her on Twitter @kathsstewart.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/154755/the_new_legal_theory_that_enables_homophobic_evangelizing_in_public_schools

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  4. The Bully Backlash: How the Christian Right Is Attacking Efforts to Help Kids

    By Katherine Stewart, Comment Is Free April 4, 2012

    For four years at his Tennessee high school, Jacob Rogers was bullied for being gay. He repeatedly appealed to school administrators for help, but didn't get much. Around Thanksgiving of last year, it got so bad that he quit going to school. In early December, not long after turning 18, he killed himself. Jacob, who lived with his grandmother, left her with passwords to his phone and email accounts, so that she and investigators might understand why he chose to take his own life.

    In the recently released film Bully, filmmaker Lee Hirsch reminds us just how much cruelty young people are capable of displaying toward one another. The documentary records the grief and the determination of the parents of Ty, a boy who committed suicide at the age of 11, as they fight to change the system that served their son so poorly. It follows Alex, who faces daily torment on the school bus. And it tells the story of Kelby, a one-time star athlete in Tuttle, Oklahoma, who comes out as a lesbian – only to be kicked out of the school sports team amid an outpouring of hate.

    Thirteen million children are bullied every year, says Hirsch. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately "40% to 80% of school-age children experience bullyingat some point during their school careers." Suicides like Jacob's take place somewhere in America every single month. According to a Yale University study, children who are bullied are two to nine times more likely to end their own lives. Kids are bullied for all sorts of reasons: for being fat, shy, poor, rich and for no reason at all, although everyone familiar with the phenomenon knows that sexual orientation is a common excuse.

    Solutions to the problem of bullying aren't easy. They have to do more with changing the culture than changing the legal codes. Families bear the chief responsibility for teaching their children to respect others. Schools can help, though, by educating students and teachers about the problem, setting up clear and effective policies for dealing with cases and establishing accountability, and fostering a safe and welcoming environment for all students. State legislators in New Jersey, Michigan, and Illinois, among other places, have taken important steps in this direction with useful anti-bullying bills. The merits of specific policies, and the money and time they will consume, can be debated, but we can all agree that bullying is a bad thing and that we should be looking for solutions. Right?

    Wrong. A number of groups that claim to represent the "Christian viewpoint" have come out in vigorous opposition to anti-bullying initiatives, and their opposition has to do with a fundamental question about exactly what we think bullying is.

    In Arizona, for example, legislators had their anti-bullying bill teed up for passage in March. But then, Cathi Herrod, chief of a lobbying group associated with Focus on the Family, decidedthat the bill was really part of an effort to "force cultural acceptance and affirmation of homosexual lifestyles". Although the bill doesn't refer specifically to any one victimized group, Herrod successfully pressured lawmakers into rejecting it. Senate minority leader David Schapira, a sponsor of his Senate Bill 1462, called her a "legislative terrorist". "Cathi Herrod, an unelected lobbyist, killed a bill that would protect all Arizona kids purely because of her intolerance of gay kids," he said.

    In Michigan last year, the "anti-anti-bullying" lobby went on the offensive with some legislation of their own. In a bill dealing with the bullying issue, they inserted a provision that would have exempted bullies who acted out of "a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction".

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    With an irony that seems more than usually cruel, the bill was named for a Michigan teen who had committed suicide after years of bullying.

    A national outpouring of disgust at the Michigan legislature's attempt to legitimize faith-based bullying ultimately resulted in the removal of the provision from the bill. But now the lawmakers of a Tennessee plan to make good on the loss. In what must count as an extraordinarily perverse way to mark the suicide of Jacob Rogers, they have introduced a bill that follows the trail blazed by the Michigan lawmakers, with some inconsequential changes in language, to open up a loophole for verbal bullying that is motivated by religious prejudices. Given that theTennessee legislature approved Bill 368, which is intended to bring "creationism" into the state's biology classrooms, on 26 March, the prospects for this anti-anti-bullying bill have to be considered good.

    In Washington, Senator Al Franken and Representative Jared Polis have put forward the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to anti-discrimination law. The legislation recently won the signed backing of 70 civil rights and educational groups, ranging from the ACLU to the American Federation of Teachers. But the Christian right is up in arms. According to rightwing pundits and bloggers, the nefarious purpose of Franken's and Polis's bill is the so-called "homosexualization" of students. Concerned Women for America says it aims at "promoting acceptance of LGBT behavior".

    Many people will undoubtedly conclude that these efforts by the anti-anti-bully lobby are lacking in Christian charity or common sense. But their proponents do have a point that we should carefully consider. To be sure, the notion that the anti-bullying initiatives are driven by "the homosexual agenda" – a phrase that conjures the vision of gay hordes aiming to seduce children into lives of abomination – is preposterous. But the sense that anti-bullying initiatives involve teaching children "acceptance" of LGBT peers, to use the word of the Concerned Women of America, is not. If you want the school to tell students to stop harassing kids like Jacob Rogers because they are gay, you have to let them know, at some point, that the school thinks it's OK to be gay.

    As Americans, we all like to believe that we can establish laws and policies that are neutral with respect to religious belief. But the truth is, we can't, and we don't. Sometimes, we have to make a choice. We have already made such choices – obviously, the right ones – with respect to race or ethnicity. No state or school would or should entertain for a moment the notion that it is acceptable for students to tell those of another race or ethnicity that they are inferior and degenerate because their religion teaches them – as some religions in America did, until quite recently – that certain races are less worthy before God than others. Maybe, it's time to come clean about sexual preference.

    We can spend long hours parsing the complexities of social and cultural influences on human sexual behavior, and we can devote still more hours to lamenting the reductive crudeness with which human sexuality is coralled in tidy categories. But the fact is that for most people, sexual orientation is no more a matter of choice than place of birth or color of skin. And even if we were to suppose that, for some of the people, some of the time, it is a matter of choice, the fact remains that it is not the kind of choice that breaks anybody's leg or picks anybody's pocket. It is OK to be gay. And it's time to let the bullies know that.

    Katherine Stewart is the author of "The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children"

    http://www.alternet.org/story/154863/the_bully_backlash%3A_how_the_christian_right_is_attacking_efforts_to_help_kids

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  6. Christian fundamentalist “Good News Club” promotes genocide of nonbelievers in public schools

    by Mike Daniels, Secular News Daily May 31, 2012

    As if fighting tooth and nail for the right to teach creation myths as scientific fact weren’t bad enough, evangelical Christians are now promoting the genocide of nonbelievers as their god’s will. And teaching it to elementary school kids. Christian jihad, anyone?

    The so-called “Good News Club” is a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship. They aren’t shy about their position of promoting evangelical Christianity. From CEF’s own website:

    Each week the teacher presents an exciting Bible lesson using colorful materials from CEF Press®. This action-packed time also includes songs, Scripture memory, a missions story and review games or other activities focused on the lesson’s theme. As with all CEF ministries, the purpose of Good News Club is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living.

    These “clubs” meet in public schools all over the country–possibly even yours. In Salem, Oregon, the state capital, they meet in public schools in the Salem-Keizer school district. This particular district also graciously hosts the New Life Community Church, an aggressively evangelical organization, at its Bush Elementary School. What does the Good News Club teach? One of the stories is that of Saul and the Amalekites, and it comes early–the second week of the curriculum.

    It’s not a pretty story, and it is often used by people who don’t intend to do pretty things. In the book of 1 Samuel (15:3), God said to Saul: "Now go, attack the Amalekites, and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys." Saul dutifully exterminated the women, the children, the babies and all of the men – but then he spared the king. He also saved some of the tastier looking calves and lambs. God was furious with him for his failure to finish the job. The story of the Amalekites has been used to justify genocide throughout the ages. According to Pennsylvania State University Professor Philip Jenkins, a contributing editor for the American Conservative, the Puritans used this passage when they wanted to get rid of the Native American tribes. Catholics used it against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics. "In Rwanda in 1994, Hutu preachers invoked King Saul’s memory to justify the total slaughter of their Tutsi neighbors," writes Jenkins in his 2011 book, Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses. This fall, more than 100,000 American public school children, ranging in age from four to 12, are scheduled to receive instruction in the lessons of Saul and the Amalekites in the comfort of their own public school classrooms. The instruction, which features in the second week of a weekly "Bible study" course, will come from the Good News Club, an after-school program sponsored by a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). The aim of the CEF is to convert young children to a fundamentalist form of the Christian faith and recruit their peers to the club.

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    ‘Come now,’ you say, ‘They’re just teaching a Bible story. Nothing wrong with that. It’s not like they’re teaching Numbers 31, the slaughter of the Midianites for the same reason, where God told Moses to let the men “keep as wives” (that is, rape) all the virgin girls. This is a horrible story, sure, but they’re not teaching children that God wants all nonbelievers slaughtered!’ Sure about that, are you?

    In the most recent version of the curriculum, however, the group is quite eager to drive the message home to its elementary school students. The first thing the curriculum makes clear is that if God gives instructions to kill a group of people, you must kill every last one: "You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left." “That was pretty clear, wasn’t it?” the manual tells the teachers to say to the kids. Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads: "The Amalekites had heard about Israel’s true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment.

    What lesson is this teaching children? Two things, actually. First, complete and unquestioning obedience to authority is a virtue. Specifically, obedience to their god who, of course, can only be “heard” through religious leaders who, naturally, would only say things their god told them . . . so they must be obeyed. Second, that anyone who doesn’t believe in their god is worthy of death, and that’s what their god wants. Lots of killing. I seem to recall all manner of outcry from folks about a religion that says exactly this. Which one was it? I can’t quite put my finger on it . . .

    Muhammad said, “If anyone changes his religion, kill him,” and the death penalty for apostasy is still part of Islamic law. Those who choose to leave Islam have to live with a death sentence over the heads for the rest of their lives — even if they live in the U.S. But Muslim “civil rights” organizations whine about “Islamophobia” and never say a word about the human rights of apostates from Islam. -Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch.org

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    If I may paraphrase Robert Spencer, plenty of folks are calling out the atrocities of Islam; why aren’t those same people shrieking about Christianity’s pro-genocide bent? And slaughter of those they don’t like is becoming increasingly popular a message among the Christian right. A couple of weeks ago, North Carolina Baptist pastor Charles Worley told his congregation that all gays and lesbians should be rounded up and kept behind an electrified fence until they die out . . . yes, he advocated for concentration camps. His congregation was not horrified. In fact, they were supportive. Just days later, another Baptist pastor shared his thoughts on the idea. Curtis Knapp of New Hope Baptist in Seneca, Kansas, instead promoted government execution of all homosexuals:

    They should be put to death … Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them, no?’ — I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should. You say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe you, you’re horrible. You’re a backwards neanderthal of a person’. Is that what you’re calling scripture? Is God a neanderthal, backwards in his morality? Is it His word or not? If it’s His word, he commanded it. It’s His idea, not mine. And I’m not ashamed of it. He continued:
    He said put them to death. Shall the church drag them in? No, I’m not say that. The church has not been given the power of the sort; the government has. But the government ought to [kill them]. You got a better idea? A better idea than God?


    Meanwhile, in a more typical stance of the Christian Right, Truth in Action Ministries is blaming all of America’s ills on the IRS and homosexuality, and demanding that homosexuality be made illegal. Faux historian David Barton, who shaped Texan’s social studies textbooks with his warped “christian nation” nonsense, is in agreement. This is what the Christian Right wants: The removal of anyone who doesn’t obey their leaders. And they’re after your children. Are they in your child’s school?

    Katherine Stewart has written a book about the Good News Club, The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children. She also has a website which features stories about the Religious Right in America.

    To see the links embedded in this article go to
    :

    http://www.secularnewsdaily.com/2012/05/christian-fundamentalist-good-news-club-promotes-genocide-of-nonbelievers-in-public-schools/

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  9. Mark Craddock, Christian Sect Doctor, Banned For Prescribing 'Gay Cure' Drug Used For Castration

    By Cavan Sieczkowski The Huffington Post August 5, 2012

    An Australian doctor and member of a conservative Christian sect has been banned from practicing medicine after he prescribed a teenager a chemical castration drug to be used as a "gay cure."

    Dr. Mark Craddock of Sydney, who is also a member of the Exclusive Brethren Christian Fellowship sect, prescribed an 18-year-old man who was also part of the sect with the drug after he came out as gay, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

    In a letter to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, the unnamed man, who is now 24, said that when he came out as gay, a church leader told him ''there's medication you can go on." He continued, ''He recommended that I speak to Dr Craddock on the matter with a view to my being placed on medication to help me with my 'problem','' the New Zealand resident said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

    The teen went to visit the 75-year-old doctor who then prescribed him with a "gay cure": the anti-androgen therapy cyproterone acetate, sold under the brand name Cyprostat, along with five repeats, according to ninemsn. He said the doctor did not refer him to a psychologist or discuss the drug's side effects.

    Cyprostat is a form of hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer. The drug will "work by stopping testosterone from reaching the cancer cells. Without testosterone the prostate cancer cells are not able to grow," according to the UK's Prostate Cancer Charity. Hormone suppressants have been used to "chemically castrate" sex offenders, the Guardian notes.

    A hearing by the Medical Council of the Australian State of New South Wales determined, "Dr Craddock failed to adequately assess the patient and failed to provide appropriate medical management of the patients therapeutic needs," in an excerpt obtained by Gay Star News. The committee found that Craddock was guilty of "unsatisfactory processional conduct. He was severely reprimanded and practice restrictions were placed on his registration."

    There are more than 40,000 Exclusive Brethren around the world, according to the sect's official website. They "believe strongly in the traditional family unit. Marriage is held in the greatest [honor], as one of God's original thoughts of blessing for the human race."

    Some doctors, like Craddock, have taken somewhat dangerous steps in an attempt to "cure" homosexuality. In 2010, Dr. Maria New of New York City's Mount Sinai was reportedly experimenting with injecting fetuses with steroids to potentially make girls "more feminine" and reduce odds they turn out gay, the Oregonian reported at the time.

    The American Psychiatric Association has condemned the "treatment" of homosexuality, according to GLAAD, saying, "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."

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    Activists have championed against "gay cures" in the United Kingdom, which includes Conversion Therapy. Last year, Apple pulled Exodus International's "Gay Cure" app from its collection.

    Below, see 11 horrific "cures" for homosexuality:

    Exorcism

    In 2009 Manifested Glory Ministries came under fire when a 20-minute video posted on YouTube showed a 16 year old being subjected to an exorcism to "cure" him of his homosexuality. The boy is shown writhing as church members stand on his feet, hold him under the arms and scream, "Come on, you homosexual demon! You homosexual spirit, we call you out right now! Loose your grip, Lucifer!"

    Electrocution

    Electrocution has long been a go-to tool for "curing" homosexuality and is still used to this day. In October Nathan Manske, the founder and Executive Director of I'm From Driftwood, a 501(c)(3) non-profit forum for true lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories, shared the story of Samuel Brinton on HuffPost Gay Voices. Brinton was raised in rural Iowa and he spoke of growing up gay in a conservative, Southern Baptist family that subjected him to forced Christian conversion therapy. "We then went into the 'Month of Hell,'" Brinton explains in the video above. "The 'Month of Hell' consisted of tiny needles being stuck into my fingers and then pictures of explicit acts between men would be shown and I'd be electrocuted."

    Prostitution

    Baron Albert von Schrenck-Notzing, a German psychiatrist who practiced during the 19th century, prescribed a trip to a brothel, preceded by lots of drinking, to cure men of their homosexuality. Women who were "afflicted," it's noted, "were referred only to their husbands."

    Hypnosis

    Hypnotism was a common tool used during the 19th century to "cure" homosexuals. When Schrenck-Notzing wasn't busy sending gay men to brothels, he was hypnotizing them. In 1892 the German psychiatrist reported success in treating 32 cases of "sexual perversions." Of the 32 cases, 12 were classified as "cured," meaning "the patients were completely able to 'combat fixed ideas [about homosexuality], deepen a sense of duty, self-control, and right-mindedness.'"

    Fetal Intervention

    G√ľnther Dorner, who worked with the Institute for Experimental Endocrinology in the middle of the 20th century, believed that homosexuality is "determined by prenatal gendering of the brain caused by endocrinological disturbances." He hypothesized that if you could alter any hormonal imbalances present in the womb -- as he attempted to do with fetal rats -- homosexuality could be prevented before it even developed.

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    'Overdosing' On Homosexuality

    In the 1960s British psychologist I. Oswald would pump a gay man full of nausea-inducing drugs before surrounding him with glasses of urine and playing audio recordings of men having sex. Oswald was attempting to "overdose" gay men on homosexuality in hopes that they would "turn to women for relief."

    Bicycling

    American neurologist Graeme M. Hammond suggests bicycling as a cure for homosexuality. He believed "homosexuality was rooted in nervous exhaustion and that bicycle exercise would restore health and heterosexuality."

    Cold Showers

    In June of 2011 Hong Kong reportedly hired a psychiatrist to give a government-sponsored training session on conversion therapy. Among the techniques Hong Kwai-wah suggested for "curing" homosexuality were cold showers, prayer, and abstinence.

    Transplants

    Eugen Steinach (1861-1944), director of the Biological Institute in Vienna, believed that homosexuality was the result of hormonal imbalances. To prove his hypothesis, the scientist implanted sex organs in neutered rats and Guinea pigs and claimed to have conducted successful "sex change" operations on the rodents. Steinach's research didn't end with animals. He also transplanted testicles from heterosexual men into gay men in hopes of "remasculizing the recipient."

    Cocaine, Strychnine, Genital Mutilation

    Physician Denslow Lewis believed that women brought up in wealthy 19th century homes could develop "sexual hyperesthesia [excessive sensitivity to stimuli]" and become lesbians. In order to cure these women he prescribed "cocaine solutions, saline cathartics, the surgical "liberation" of adherent clitorises, or even the administration of strychnine by hypodermic." Though he claimed that some of his patients were "cured" and became wives and mothers, one went insane and died in an asylum.

    Praying

    "Pray the gay away!" has become the battle cry of the conversion therapy movement. From Marcus Bachmann's alleged conversion clinic to an ex-gay iPhone app, those who believe homosexuality is not only wrong but curable rely on the power of prayer to make a miracle happen.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/mark-craddock-christian-doctor-gay-cure-prostate-cancer_n_1857571.html

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