An American church is promising gay men they will be cured of their homosexuality if they stroke horses.
The Cowboy Church of Virginia, led by chief pastor Raymond Bell, believes homosexuality and other ‘addictions’ can be cured by Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.
Horse therapy, in the right hands, can be used to help overcome fears, develop communication skills, and is generally beneficial to mental health.
But Bell says the horses in his church, a cowboy ranch in the south, are part of teaching men to stop being gay and encourage them to be more masculine.
‘EAP can help any person who is living the homosexual lifestyle or involved in it in anyway,’ he told Gay Star News.
‘The first common misconception is that homosexuality is genetic, or hereditary, or as some say “born this way”.
‘Homosexuality is actually a type of addiction. It is not “curable” as a disease because it is a “choice driven” by the person.’
Bell said he uses EAP to identify how a person got ‘involved’ in homosexuality to begin with. For example, because of rape, abandonment, lacking a male role model, abuse, and having low self-esteem.
He said: ‘Homosexuality is a secondary effect from a single, or multiple, primary events in a person’s life.’
When asked if the therapy ever worked, or if it was even valid, the pastor said ‘it is not now, nor has it ever been, in question’.