Charitable Status Revoked from New Zealand Homosexual Reorientation Group
From Life Site News:
The New Zealand affiliate of U.S.-based Exodus Global Alliance has had its charity status revoked by the NZ Charities Commission.
Exodus is a Christian organization that says it is dedicated to equipping agencies and individuals to communicate the message of “freedom from homosexuality.”
The NZ Exodus Ministries Trust Board has had charitable status for more than ten years. However, the status was removed by the government's Charities Commission in a decision dated August 18, as part of a massive crackdown begun in 2007 to de-register groups it considers don't fulfill the necessary criteria or are too political or commercial.
In April the Charities Commission also de-registered Greenpeace New Zealand for being too political. Greenpeace responded by taking the matter to court, according to a press.co.nz report.
In defending its own charitable status, Exodus Ministries Trust Board told the Charities Commission that, as a Christian organization that offers "non-judgmental support and advice to anyone wishing to leave the homosexual lifestyle ... We believe the activities (and purposes) of Exodus are exclusively charitable."
The organization pointed out that “no one receives any pecuniary benefit of any kind from its activities which are religious, educational and beneficial to the community."
The Charities Commission countered, however, that in its view Exodus is not performing any activity of public benefit. It also noted that the American Psychological Association (APA) had deleted homosexuality from its listing of mental disorders and has stated that homosexual reorientation therapy might be harmful to homosexuals.
"Psychotherapeutic modalities to convert or ’repair’ homosexuality are based on developmental theories whose scientific validity is questionable," the APA stated in a resolution adopted last year.
The Charities Commission stated in its decision that Exodus did not meet the criteria for a charitable group based on its own descriptions of its work: "The Applicant [Exodus] has a main purpose of promoting a particular point of view," including the claims that "homosexuality is morally wrong, that people can change from homosexuality to heterosexuality, and that people are not born homosexual."
"In light of the above, the Commission considers that it is not able to determine whether the Applicant will, or will not, provide a benefit to the public that will outweigh any harm caused by the Applicant’s purposes."
For its part, however, Exodus remains committed to its mission to "counsel and assist homosexuals and others with sexual problems in order that they may find healing and release into wholeness as desired by God and revealed in the Bible."