Preparations for a conference on psychotherapy set for May in Marburg, Germany are being disrupted by an "action alliance of queer, feminist, and anti-fascist and anti-sexist" groups that want two Christian therapists removed from the roster of speakers.
In response, a group of at least 600 prominent German professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds has issued a public statement and petition to protest the "totalitarian aspirations of the gay and lesbian associations." These organizations, they said, are trying to suppress freedom of expression and academic inquiry at the upcoming 6th International Congress for Psychotherapy and Counseling in Marburg.
On March 29, the Lesbian and Gay Association of Germany (LSVD) in an open letter to the mayor of the city of Marburg and the university, attacked the management of the Congress, saying that a talk scheduled by two experts on "identity development for men and women" should be cancelled.
Markus Hoffmann, a therapist who offers counseling to homosexuals who wish to leave the homosexual lifestyle, and Dr. Christl Ruth Vonholdt, of the German Institute for Youth and Society (DIJG), are still set to speak at the conference.
Dr. Vonholdt is a physician for child and adolescent medicine and is involved in research and counseling on human sexuality, male and female identity formation, sexuality and culture, and marriage and the family. She is the author of the paper, "The Deconstruction Of Marriage and Family," in which she asserts that the issue of the acceptance of homosexuality as normal, "has long ceased to be that of tolerance, but of the dissolution of marriage bonds and family ties."
Other disruptions by the homosexualist lobby of similar events have occurred in Germany in recent memory. Two events, a conference on "Religiosity in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy" in October 2007 in Graz, and the "Christival" in the spring of 2008 in Bremen, had to be conducted under police protection.
In 2007, the Austrian Society of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy was pressured to remove Markus Hoffmann from the list of speakers at the "Religiosity in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy" conference. Hoffmann, an evangelical Christian leader, later voluntarily withdrew from the conference.
Such actions, the petition’s signatories say, "constitute an attack on fundamental liberties guaranteed by the constitution."
The statement continues: "Nobody denies the dignity of persons with homosexual orientation and their personal freedom. But there are people who suffer and seek therapeutic help."
To view the list of signatories:
To read Dr. Vonholdt’s paper, "The Deconstruction Of Marriage and Family"