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Christian anti-gay therapy is bizarre and wrong, says minister

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Therapy provided by a Christian mental health group to help homosexuals 'repress their sinful urges' should be scrapped from the health insurance treatment list, health minister Edith Schippers said on Tuesday.

Health insurance is to pay for treatment or to prevent illness, ‘and homosexuality is not an illness’, the minister said in response to MPs’ questions.

Newspaper Trouw reported on Tuesday morning medical organisations and health insurers were against paying for a therapy designed to teach homosexuals to ignore their sexual feelings.


The treatment is offered by the orthodox Christian organisation Different, a recognised provider of therapies in mental health care. Because it is officially recognised, health insurers cannot refuse to pay for the treatment.

Schippers said she found it bizarre the therapy was being paid for by health insurers. ‘This is not to be tolerated,’ the minister said, adding that she will now look into removing the treatment from the approved list.

MPs from all parties said they were shocked at news of the treatment.


However, Kees van der Staaij, leader of the fundamentalist Protestant party SGP which regards homosexuality as a sin, said people who opted for the therapy offered by Different deserved support.

It is not the first time government cash has been spent on alternative therapies.

Several years ago the Volkskrant reported tarot card readers, astrologers and spiritually-based 'personal development programmes' had been given government funding as part of efforts to get people back into work..

© DutchNews.nl

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Readers' comments (6)

If people who opt for the therapy offered by 'Different' deserve support. There may be a few cases where people are confused about there sexuality, it happens. There should be choice for people if they wish.

By Highlander | January 17, 2012 6:07 PM

I think Different should be able to offer its services to whatever people wants them, but they should not be paid by health insurance.

By Andre L. | January 17, 2012 6:40 PM

are we still in the Netherlands?? sheeesh unbelieveable. well I'm glad this is at least now in English, so maybe now the Dutch will stop attempting to tell outsiders just how liberal and advanced their culture is.

By Bill | January 17, 2012 10:04 PM

if a person who is confused with his/her sexuality goes for treatment at different, who thinks that being homosexual is an illness...please make me understand how that will help the confused person. all gay men and women know that sexual preference is simply like handedness...either your left handed or right handed. straight or gay. nothing wrong with either. insurance should not pay for treatment at different because there is not illness to treat.

By jd | January 18, 2012 10:22 AM

This is banned in Catholic Spain. Why does the Netherlands allow this fundamentalist evil to exist here?

By D | January 18, 2012 6:36 PM

Im not religious not intolerant but I believe being gay is abnormal/flawed. Not the way nature intended it (just look at our design). As far as a cure goes, not sure it exists, but people could recognize they are flawed and try to find out why or simply accept it. THe majority accepts it and that is why we have gay groups. For those who seek "treatment" if any I believe there is some hormonal stuff they can undergo, that should be paid, etc. anything else, just go to psychologist. Not sure about the therapy of Different, we should look into it before making judgements. I have nothing aginst or intolerance, it is just the way some people are.

By VA | February 1, 2012 9:46 AM

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