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Minister Schippers denies repression of homosexuality by Different

by Editorial Staff in Health & Body , 07 April 2012

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Much to the surprise of the COC and LKP Minister Schippers of Public Health denies that the Different-therapy, in which gays are taught to repress their sinful nature, aims at ‘curing’. This was in her answer to questions of members of parliament and she based it on the findings of the Inspectie voor de Gezondheidszorg (IGZ) (Healthcare Inspection Authority).

Newspaper Trouw reported on the 17th of January that healthcare insurance companies were required to cover the gay therapy of the orthodox Christian organization.

Different’s manager Anouk van Tooren said to Trouw that about 30% of the clients were successfully repressing their sexuality. These are people that find their sexuality sinful, people that suffer from severe depression and sometimes full-blown identity crises.

The VVD (Liberals) and GroenLinks (Greens) asked the Minister for an explanation. In Trouw spokespeople from medical organizations criticized the fact that insurance companies were forced to compensate. They called the therapy ‘wrong and even harmful’. The Minister however, summarizes that it is not about repressing or curing homosexuality but about accepting one’s nature and the choice for a gay relationship or not.’

The COC is not impressed with this interpretation.

‘For weeks the media have been covering stories of people, ex-clients, complaining about Different’s therapy. We regularly come across them and gay Christian organizations even much more often,’ says COC spokesperson Philip Tijsma. ‘Especially the certainty with which the Inspection reports after ten days that there is nothing wrong surprises us highly. It’s as if they’ve had one conversation and were convinced instead of investigating what is really happening in the consultation rooms.’ The Inspection is prepared to investigate further if there are other people with complaints. Different didn’t want to respond.

VVD parliamentarian Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert is not reassured by the Minister’s answers. Together with GroenLinks MP Ineke van Gent she filed now questions. They want to know what the Minister means when she says that the controversial approach is not aimed at ‘curing’ homosexual feelings but about accepting one’s nature and the choice for a gay relationship or not.

Different says in a response to the conclusions of the Inspection that it was ‘a sober end to a media hype.’

Aside from a few points that leave room for improvement, which are in line with our new quality policy the Inspection thinks that Different is offering regular Healthcare services that comply with all necessary quality standards for insurance companies,’ the Difference website says.

General director Henk van Rhee from Tot Heil des Volks (For the Salvation of the People) the umbrella organization behind Different, is demanding an apology plus rectification from newspaper Trouw for publishing a misinformed article on alleged ‘curing therapy’.



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