Gay activists say workshops will create homophobic teachers and counsellors A Christian group is holding a seminar today to 'restore the sexual wholeness' of homosexuals, offering teachers, social workers and loved ones of gays advice on 'reorienting' sexuality. The Society for Truth and Light expects about 100 people to attend a Mongkok centre for the workshops, organised with the YMCA, TeenAids and other groups. Gay activists say it will instil homophobic tendencies in the people gay and lesbian youth are most likely to turn to for guidance. The society has been in the news previously for distributing school circulars citing controversial research that describes homosexuality as a treatable mental illness. Society project officer Andrew Hung Tsz-wan said that as well as guidance on reorienting sexuality, the seminar would provide advice on dealing with homosexuals' emotional problems and the basic principles of counselling them. 'Videotaped testimonies of ex-gays and ex-lesbians will be shown so they can share their struggles on how to overcome homosexuality,' he said. 'There will be workshops on overcoming sexual addiction, emotional dependency, child sexual abuse and gender identity confusion, since most homosexuals usually have one of these issues. 'Our message is basically that we don't need to be too judgmental and don't talk about whether homosexuality is normal or abnormal, but we will suggest that they can have a choice - homosexuality is not the only way and they can search for another lifestyle. 'We don't know how much of it is inborn but usually see there is some family problem that will affect sexual orientation.' Mr Hung said the workshops would suggest advising young people against deciding too early that they were homosexual. Young people had to be careful because of problems in the lifestyle, such as unstable relationships and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Gay rights activist Roddy Shaw Kwok-wah, of Civil Rights for Sexual Diversities, said he worried the workshop targeted social workers and teachers, who guided young people having difficulty coming to terms with their sexuality. 'I worry the stance this group imparts to these people will induce a sort of homophobia within the school and counselling profession,' he said. 'The whole tone of the workshops is based on the idea that homosexuality is an illness that can be treated and converted.' Mr Shaw said he questioned the group's 'therapeutic claims'. 'They may end up giving false hope to people who desperately want to be converted and friends and family who, with their religious convictions, want to convert them,' he said. He did not believe gays could be 'converted' and, even if it were possible, he questioned why it was deemed necessary.