Are gays accepted in the Catholic Church?? © Manuel Lopez
Health Minister Spahn wants to ban "conversion therapy" by law, because homosexuality is not a disease. The Ecumenical Working Group Homosexuals and Church welcomes the politician's plan.
Interviewer: What is this "conversion therapy" about??
Thomas Poschl (Spokesman of the Ecumenical Working Group Homosexuals and Church): I don't want to call it a therapy, because it is proven that it doesn't work and is rather harmful. It is the attempts to diade people with homosexual feelings and corresponding homosexual behavior so that they feel heterosexual.
Interviewer: What are the experiences of people who go to such a therapy??
Poschl: I think that's pretty diverse. People go there because they see their behavior as wrong, sick or even sinful. The starting point is often religious beliefs. They either experience that it does not work at all and their behavior does not change. Or they make, that is my evaluation, the experience that they can suppress their sexual desire and believe that they are thereby cured of it.
Interviewer: How is the "conversion therapy" evaluated on the part of the church??
Poschl: One can say that the churches as a whole accept the findings of science and confirm that homosexuality is not a disease. You also reject therapies as such or do not recommend such therapies.
But there are fundamentalist circles in all churches that are based on individual opinions that such therapies can actually be successful or are even successful and then help the people who come to them to take advantage of such offers and go to such treatments.
that the Catholic Church makes itself thereby "also a piece far guilty that evenly humans have bad conscience and also fear before it have and some try such therapies to approach
Interviewer: Federal Health Minister Spahn wants these therapies to be banned. He says, where they are accomplished often develops heavy physical and mental suffering. What do you think of these plans?
Poschl: This treatment is related to somehow making people aware that it's something bad that they need to get rid of. That's why it makes sense to prohibit this in any case, where it concerns vulnerable people such as children and young people. The original approach was to prohibit it in general. I think he first limits it to adolescents and children, because adults in a free society have the right to do things that are harmful to their health.
Interviewer: The Minister of Health has now also clearly emphasized that homosexuality is not a disease and that such a ban would, in his opinion, also be an important social signal to all those who may also be struggling with their homosexuality. He wants to say: It's okay that you are the way you are. This is actually an attitude that is very close to our Christian values, isn't it??
Poschl: Yes, this is an attitude that is very close to Christian values. It is also important to see that especially the Protestant churches in Germany emphasize this to a large extent.
The Catholic Church does a balancing act: It says that homosexual feelings are not sinful, but living out these feelings is. With it the Catholic church makes itself also a piece far guilty that humans have a bad conscience and also fear of it and some try to tackle such therapies.
The interview was conducted by Verena Troster.