Monday, August 30, 2010

New Zealand And Ex-Gay Therapy

The Charities Commission of the New Zealand Government has denied Ex-Gay Group Exodus International - an organization that has hurt countless teens,adults, and families over the course of its existence - tax exempt status. The Charities Commission stated that in order for them to allow Exodus to have tax exempt status, Exodus must prove that they were operating for the public good and that their actions had direct public benefit. Under New Zealand Law, this public good may be achieved in a few different ways...reducing poverty, advancement of education, and advancement of religion.

The commission found that Exodus did not qualify under any of these methods because.

1. It is not clear that a program to change sexual orientation because of a moral belief will be effective, and organizations (such as the American Psychological Association) state that it is actually detrimental to the gay individual.

2. Exodus does not promote advancement of education because this is based upon a private moral viewpoint and such viewpoints are not neutral in the educational sense. Instead, according to the commission, it amounts to nothing more than propaganda.

3. It is not advancing any sort of religious viewpoint, because the only viewpoint advocated is that homosexuality is morally wrong and must be changed. Though Exodus operates within a Christian context, its main goal is not the passing on of Christian Doctrine, and thus is not "religious".

The Commission then goes on to say that in addition to all of these above reasons, that their is no public benefit because the government of New Zealand does not deem homosexuality a "moral wrong" and therefore an organization should not be trying to change it.

Kudos to our New Zealand brethren for winning such an awesome victory!! The full text of the Commissions decision can be found here.

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