[notice]In a letter to Gateway News, former homosexual and managing director of New Living Way Ministry, ANDRÉ BEKKER, says that gay activists, who were once oppressed themselves, are now oppressing former homosexuals, their supporters and those struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction. It is time that South Africa faced up to this bigotry, he says in his letter which is published in full below.[/notice]
The South African Constitution of 1996 provides in a Bill of Rights that “everyone is equal before the law” and prohibits “unfair” discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, religion, conscience, belief as well as a list of other characteristics. It leaves everyone with the freedom of choice. It is about diversity, autonomy and self-determination.
In spite of one of the most liberal constitutions in the world, which leaves individuals with the right to explore their heterosexual potential, it is of great concern that there exists discrimination against people like me and many others who left the homosexual lifestyle and want to live up to our religious beliefs and convictions.
Change is only sought for those with unwanted same-sex attractions. What makes one person happy may not make someone else happy because we are all individuals. We therefore have to respect other people’s decisions for their lives. Former homosexuals can testify to the fact that those with unwanted homosexuality deserve the right to self-determination and happiness based on their own needs, and not the needs of other persons or organisations.
While people and organisations are fighting for the rights of the LGBT community, they are often intolerant of people, that for what ever reason do not feel comfortable with the idea of being gay. In many cases they deny others the rights they themselves are fighting for. We should all be tolerant of each other regardless of our sexual orientation. Homosexuality has multiple causes and people have experienced it differently in their lives. If a gay person’s sense of well-being is dependent on all other people with same-sex attractions having had the same experience that they did, then that person is in a dangerous place. In fact, this is what has caused persecution of former homosexuals.
The demonisation of former homosexuals by gays themselves is a sad end to the long struggle for tolerance by the gay community. That former homosexuals and their supporters are now oppressed by the same people who until recently were victimized themselves, demonstrates how far the gay rights movement has come. Indeed, a new chapter in the movement has begun – the right of homosexuals and lesbians to leave unwanted homosexuality.
Because of the abuse heaped upon them by society, former homosexuals experience discrimination at many levels. While gays can come out of the “closet,” former homosexuals are forced to stay in theirs because of public prejudice. While gays gain sympathy as victims, ex-gays are criticized and face life-long intolerance for simply existing as living proof that homosexuality is not innate. South Africa needs to face the real issue of bigotry — oppression of former homosexuals.
Former homosexuals are subject to an increasingly hostile environment where they are labelled as perpetrators of hate and discrimination against homosexuals simply because they advocate for or live out a different view of homosexuality.
Gay activists have created an environment where anyone who does not accept homosexuality as equivalent to heterosexuality in every way is labelled a “bigot” whose attitude equates to racism. Consequently, alternatives to homosexuality are interpreted as harassment “against” gays. Sexual orientation non-discrimination laws and hate crime policies are used to silence the ex-gay community and legitimise intolerance against former homosexuals. Fighting, “hate” and “discrimination” against gays has become a euphemism for attacks against ex-gays and their supporters.
Former homosexual men and women, as well as their friends and family, feel threatened because they are subjected to a hostile environment if they publicly claim their former homosexuality or support of the former homosexual community. To give sexual orientation protection to one group while excluding another is outright discrimination.
It is then appropriate to point out that anyone has the right to choose not to be homosexual, should such a person wish to do so. Anyone has the right to live a dignified life without fear if he or she is a former homosexual. They have the right to seek psychological help, counselling or spiritual help from whoever they feel comfortable with, to provide them with the necessary help to fulfil their needs.
There is much talking going on about bullying in our schools and community and how it is not allowed against the LGBT community. Please note that the same is true for ALL people.
It can be said to those amongst the gay community who do not agree: “Who are you to judge? Let me decide for my life. I don’t want gays telling me I can’t change.”
New Living Way Ministry
- New Living Way Ministry (http://www.learntolove.co.za/) is an interdenominational Christian organisation that ministers to people with unwanted same-sex attraction, and to families and loved ones of people with same-sex attraction.