The Dutch government has admitted that it is subsidising a number of Christian ‘ex-gay’ groups.

The ex-gay movement seeks to ‘cure’ homosexuals through various means including therapy and prayer. Critics say that there is little or no evidence that homosexuality can be cured, with many believing that the practice actually does harm.

Dutch Education, Culture and Science Minister Ronald Plasterk said that the government is currently providing subsidies to two groups that have been accused of the practice.

The one group, Refo Anders, has reportedly received 84,000 euros, while another Onze Weg (Our Way) foundation, received 50,000 euros.

While Dutch newspaper De Pers claims that the groups actively try to cure homosexuals, the organisations have denied the allegations. They have admitted however that they reject ‘practicing’ homosexuals.

Plasterk told NIS News that the aim of the funding is to support the discussion of homosexuality within Christian groups:

“These organisations have access to circles where there would otherwise be no homo-emancipation at all. Of course I do not support the aims completely, but they have taken important hurdles. For example, the recognition that there are homos in Christian circles.”

Critics say that the government money is more likely being used to fund the groups’ ex-gay practices than for discussion groups on homosexuality.

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