Ex-Gay to Pay

This past July, New Times published "Scared Straight," an article about Worthy Creations, a local ministry that shepherds gay men and women toward heterosexuality.

The Fort Lauderdale based group operates under the spiritual umbrella of the “ex-gay” movement, which uses reparative therapy to purportedly rid homosexuals of same-sex attraction. Documented techniques of the controversial therapy include attaching electric sensors to the genitals and then administering a shock at any sign of arousal by same-sex images, exorcism, sedation, isolation, physical restraints, and hypnosis.

This past week the ex-gay movement made headlines again after one of its “ex-gay” counselors in Texas -- who employed “touch therapy” with clients to cure them of their homosexuality -- was convicted of sexual assault.

According to court documents, Christopher Austin counseled ex-gays at Church of Christ South MacArthur in Irving. He was first arrested in 2002 after a patient claimed his techniques included nude sessions and physical intimacy, including oral sex. News coverage of the case led to other victims coming forward who alleged the ex-gay leader “unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly caused penetration.”

This past week, a jury found Austin guilty of the second-degree felony charges. He was sentenced to ten years in prison, but received seven years probation, had to register as a sex offender, and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine. Amen! --Joanne Green

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