• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Gay teen forced into therapy ‘cure’ by Christian community
Photo: Elvert Barnes/File

Gay teen forced into therapy ‘cure’ by Christian community

The Local · 14 Mar 2016, 11:23

Published: 14 Mar 2016 11:23 GMT+01:00

Now in his 30s, the man, whose name was not disclosed, told the Schweiz Am Sonntag newspaper he was forced to start so-called therapy for his homosexuality when he was 15.

“I grew up in an evangelical community. Homosexuality is considered a sin which sends you to hell, but which is nevertheless curable,” he said in Sunday’s edition of the paper.

He was sent to a psychiatrist with the aiming of “reversing” his sexuality.

“I was still underage. I know of others who have started such therapies as minors,” he said.

As well as talking to a psychotherapist, his ‘treatment’ involved being sent to play football – which he hated – to get used to being around men in a non-sexual environment, he told the paper.

Such treatment “causes enormous damage in adolescents,” he said. “Teenagers who otherwise have no problems have their self-esteem destroyed. You are made to feel inferior.”

Finally extracting himself from the ‘therapy’ after ten years, he said it took him a year to get over it.

Rosmarie Quadranti, a member of the democrat BDP party in Zurich, has proposed a parliamentary motion to criminalize such ‘therapies’ for minors following the story.

“When I heard about this type of treatment I got shivers. I never thought this could happen in the 21st century,” MP Quadranti told 20 Minutes.

“The state should do everything it can to outlaw these barbaric practices by fundamentalists in the Protestant and Catholic churches,” Stephan Bischof of the gay rights organization Pink Cross told Schweiz Am Sonntag.

“What surprises me is that these ‘cures’ are carried out not only by pseudo-therapists but by psychiatrists holding a state qualification,” he added.

Story continues below…

The victim told the paper that he even knows of supposed psychotherapists whose services are billed to Swiss medical insurance.

Sandra Kobelt, spokeswoman for health insurance association Santé Suisse, said there was no evidence of such behaviour.

“In our view this would be a clear abuse of social health insurance, a clear violation of the code of conduct of the service provider and a disregard for the personal integrity of a patient,” Kobelt told the paper.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swiss glacier reveals body of skier missing for 53 years
Morteratsch glacier. Photo: Graubünden police

The 36-year-old German went missing in 1963.

 Federer to miss Rio, rest of season with injury
Federer is recovering from injury. Photo: AFP

Roger Federer will miss the remainder of the season, including next month's Olympic Games in Rio.

Take care around fireworks, Swiss told
Fireworks injure hundreds every year. Photo: myswitzerland.com

Fireworks caused 250 accidents last year in Switzerland – half of them on August 1st.

Missing man found dead in Obwalden forest
The man's body was found close to the wreck of his car. Photo: Obwalden police

A man reported missing in early July has been found dead close to the wreck of his car in central Switzerland.

Confirmed cases of Zika virus soar in Switzerland
The virus is on the march in Switzerland too. Photo: AFP

Switzerland has registered 28 cases of the birth-defect causing Zika virus since the start of the year.

Flooding leads to chaos in central Switzerland
The storm left a trail of devastation in Pfäffikon. Photo: Schwyz cantonal police

The fire brigade in the canton of Schwyz had a busy night dealing with flooding emergencies.

  Solar plane completes epic round-the-world trip
The journey ended in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in the UAE, completing its epic round-the-world journey.

Switzerland mulls alarm text message service
A mobile text warning system could be introduced: Photo: Katwarn.de

A text message alarm system could be used to warn people in the event of a terror attack.

Swiss solar plane nears end of epic trip
Solar Impulse is close to its goal. Photo: Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse 2 is approaching the end of its epic bid to become the first sun-powered plane to circle the globe without fuel.

Man arrested in forest murder case
A walker found the woman's body in the forest. File photo: Patrick Nouhailler

Police arrest an illegal immigrant over the killing of a woman in the canton of Bern last week.

File photo: Chase Elliott Clark
Lifestyle
Study: a fifth of Swiss spy on neighbours
Photo: Katwarn.de
National
Switzerland mulls alarm text message service
Photo: The Local
National
Study: grazing cows are worse for the environment
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Kecko
National
Terror fears trigger Swiss run on guns
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Commune d'Ayent
National
Spectacular Valais ‘bisse’ to feature on new banknote
Photo: Swiss Post
National
Swiss Post moves to accept debit cards – sometimes
Photo: Chris Marquardt
Lifestyle
Police break up dispute over late-night laundry
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: Grand Tours Project
Features
Why you should get on your bike in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: The Local
Society
Swiss village tells landlords: don’t rent homes to refugees
Photo: Rolf Krahl/Christophe G
International
Survey: world willing to pay more for ‘Swissness’
Photo: The Local
International
Chaos in Como after Swiss send back refugees
Photo: AFP/The Local
Lifestyle
Nine top celebrity hotspots in Switzerland
Photo: Graubunden police
National
World-class Swiss climber Norbert Joos dies on ‘home mountain’
Photo: Kathleen Waters
Society
Italian ‘ignored’ by Swiss schools in language wars
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Whitepod
Features
The quirkiest places to stay in Switzerland
International
Migrant busted trying to sneak into Switzerland in a suitcase
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read
National
Basel suffers wettest six months for 150 years
Photo: Georges Gobet/AFP
Technology
Why Swiss science could suffer badly from Brexit fallout
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Robert Valencia
International
Swiss couple in Nicaragua told to give back adopted daughter
Photo: Zurich cantonal police
National
Police hunt prisoner on the run in Zurich murder case
Photo: Christoph G
Politics
Switzerland sets out law on expelling foreign criminals
Photo: Bernacqua
Lifestyle
Drone shocks nudists at Swiss waterpark
Photo: Basel Justice and Security Dept
Lifestyle
New signs lay down law and order for Basel prostitutes
4,589
jobs available