Further to Aleph Melbourne’s article (Aug 10) Tzedek Australia engages gay cure advocate Dr Norman Goldwasser as keynote speaker and hot on the heels of Sydney Morning Herald’s article (Aug 13) Doctor who tried to cure homosexuality to speak at Australian child sex abuse victim event, both exposing the connection between Dr Norman Goldwasser and his beliefs that people’s sexual orientation can be changed, Tzedek Australia has issued a statement advising they are cancelling him as a speaker at their Community Education Forum in September.
Statement Regarding Tzedek bringing Dr. Goldwasser to Australia by Josh Bornstein, President of Tzedek:
“Tzedek’s mission statement is to support and advocate for victims of sexual abuse in the Jewish community. Several months ago, a decision was made by Tzedek to invite Dr Goldwasser to speak at the Jewish Community Education Forum in Melbourne on 6 September. The decision was made because of his considerable experience dealing with the dynamics of sexual abuse in the Jewish community.
More recently, we have become aware of other matters and controversies relating to Dr Goldwasser. Amongst other things, we have taken on board concerns raised by the LGBTI community. As a result we have reviewed the matter and decided that it is no longer appropriate for Dr Goldwasser to speak at the forum.
We wish to make clear that Tzedek does not in any way endorse or condone what has been described as “reparative therapy”. Such “therapy” has been completely discredited.
Our forum will proceed on September 6th and we encourage all members of the community to attend. “
Aleph Melbourne welcomes Tzedek’s cancellation of Dr Norman Goldwasser as a speaker at their forum. We ask they to go one step further and develop a policy to assist educate the community that sexuality cannot be changed by therapy and that attempts to do so, especially on victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, may have damaging consequences.
For reference, the Australian Psychological Society has a statement on the use of therapies that attempt to change sexual orientation and the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has a position statement on sexual orientation change efforts. Both organisations warn against the use of such therapies.