The ex-gay movement is a movement dedicated to “curing” gay people and helping them to escape their sinful non-hetero lives. One of the treatments is conversion therapy. Rather than accepting gay people as they are and give them equal rights, conversion therapists – who are usually religious extremists – try to impose their own morality on other people. Their most willing patients are homosexuals who are themselves religious and suffer from an inner contradiction between their sexual orientation and their religious beliefs. Conversion therapy starts from the belief that homosexuality is a psychological disorder that can be cured. That is obviously a controversial belief, especially after such incidents:
In 1974, Rekers, a leading thinker in the so-called ex-gay movement, was presented with a 4-year-old “effeminate boy” named Kraig, whose parents had enrolled him in the program. Rekers put Kraig in a “play-observation room” with his mother, who was equipped with a listening device. When the boy played with girly toys, the doctors instructed her to avert her eyes from the child.
According to a 2001 account in Brain, Child Magazine, “On one such occasion, his distress was such that he began to scream, but his mother just looked away. His anxiety increased, and he did whatever he could to get her to respond to him… Kraig became so hysterical, and his mother so uncomfortable, that one of the clinicians had to enter and take Kraig, screaming, from the room.”
Rekers’s research team continued the experiment in the family’s home. Kraig received red chips for feminine behavior and blue chips for masculine behavior. The blue chips could be cashed in for candy or television time. The red chips earned him a “swat” or spanking from his father. Researchers periodically entered the family’s home to ensure proper implementation of the reward-punishment system.
After two years, the boy supposedly manned up. Over the decades, Rekers, who ran countless similar experiments, held Kraig up as “the poster boy for behavioral treatment of boyhood effeminacy.”
At age 18, shamed by his childhood diagnosis and treatment, Rekers’s poster boy attempted suicide… (source)
This story has a strange ending: Rekers, the “therapist”, was recently caught having a homosexual relationship… More about homosexuality, gay rights, and religious extremism. More absurd human rights violations.