LANSING, Mich. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Michigan Democrats are harassing a church for offering to counsel teenage girls struggling with their sexual identity.
On February 8, Adam Zemke and Darrin Camilleri, both Democratic members of the Michigan House of Representatives, condemned the "Unashamed Identity Workshop" sponsored by the Metro City Church in Riverview.
The announcement for the workshop — now taken down from the group's website — is a counseling session for girls aged 12–16 years old, asking, "Does your child or grandchild struggle with sexual identity? Do you see the pain and hurt of their struggle but you're uncertain how to help?"
It is described as being for girls "struggling with thoughts that are trans[gender], gay, bi[sexual] or other. It doesn't have to be this way. With God's help, there can be healing, wholeness and hope with thoughtful, biblical and relevant counsel."
Zemke and Camilleri, along with three other Democrats, are calling the workshop "wildly inappropriate," writing a letter to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, calling gay reparative therapy a "discredited pseudoscience based on the false claim that being lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender is a mental illness that needs to be cured."
It continues, "There is absolutely no scientific basis for this claim. ... these practices are extremely dangerous and often lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse and even suicide."
Zemke and Camilleri authored HB5550 calling for the State of Michigan to forbid mental health professionals from engaging in gay reparative therapy on minors.
Since members of Metro City Church, however, are not claiming to be healthcare professionals and are merely administering spiritual counseling, the Democrats are asking Schuette to investigate Metro City Church "with the appropriate federal authorities" for allegedly violating the Federal Trade Commission Act.
The Democrats claim, "There is no credible evidence that these practices can change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity," adding, "The sponsors of the workshop are perpetuating a fraud on the families they are inducing to pay for a service that is both entirely unnecessary and impossible to deliver."
Neither Zemke or Camilleri have responded to Church Militant for comment.
Jeremy Schossau, lead pastor of Metro City Church, claims the organization has experienced "unbelievable backlash on social media filled with hate and vulgarity — stuff that I just can't understand or even believe." He adds, "people have literally threatened to kill me and my family, to burn our house down, to burn our church down."
He goes on, "We find it incredibly odd that a community that has been so vocal about tolerance, about understanding somebody else's perspective about freedom about choice, a community has been so pro-choice is seemingly very anti-choice when it comes to sexuality."
The LGBT activists have called for a nationwide ban on reparative therapy, calling it "pseudoscience."
Church Militant spoke to psychotherapist David Pickup who is calling the ban on reparative therapy "an egregious violation of so many rights."
He notes that same-sex attraction is "many times created by sexual abuse by an adult or older teen. Once the wounds are resolved or healed, the homosexual feelings lessen and dissipate." He explained that clients are "never coerced or shamed," and the first priority of authentic reparative therapy is "eliminating shame for having homosexual feelings."
Schossau tells his critics, "It is pure hypocrisy in the gay community for folks to think that you can have a choice to move from heterosexuality into homosexuality but not homosexuality into heterosexuality."
Representative Zemke can be contacted at (517) 373-1792 and Rep. Camilleri at (517) 373-0855.