Article Title:Randerson
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:9th June 2004 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2354
Text:Homosexuality is a choice for some, says the Anglican Dean of Auckland in today's Herald, citing a controversial study of Christian fundamentalist “ex-gays” as proof. Richard Randerson, one of the Church's leading liberals in New Zealand, says Archbishop Vercoe's “world without gays” comments at the weekend were “inappropriate”, and at odds with a statement made by the Anglican General Synod in Rotorua a month ago, which “acknowledges and honours the contribution that gay and lesbian Anglicans make to the life and ministry of our Church”. But in spite of this, Randerson is fence-sitting on the issue of whether being gay is a choice. “It seems clear that experts are divided. It seems equally clear that while there may be some for whom homosexuality is a choice, for many it is not. A study conducted last year by Dr Robert Spitzer, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, found that reorientation therapy had a high success rate among those who voluntarily undertook it.” Spitzer's study has in fact been roundly criticised by his peers for its method and practice. Subjects for the study were self-selected, referred from fundamentalist Christian churches, and 86% of the male subjects still reported same-sex attraction after their reparative therapy. The results of the study have since been selectively and vigorously used by religious-right groups internationally in their fight against gay rights.    
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