The former leader of an Australian “ex-gay” ministry has been named one of the continent’s most influential gay people. Brisbane Times reported Dec. 17:

During the 1980s, Paul Martin was at the helm of an ‘ex-gay ministry movement’ – one that tried to turn homosexual people into heterosexual people – in Melbourne.

Providing ‘treatment and religious counselling’ to hundreds of men and women, the group still operates in cities across the country.

However, Mr Martin, 45, eventually “saw the light” and confronted his personal demons.

“At the time I truly believed I was on a journey to being repaired, I was convinced my sexuality could be changed,” he said.

Two decades on, the counselling psychologist helps confused and troubled gays and lesbians come to terms with their own sexuality.

The organization that Martin led is said to still be in existence, misinforming participants that they are psychiatrically disordered and violating the will of God if they practice sexual honesty.

Mr Martin was this week named as the sole Queenslander in’s annual Gaylies list – for the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians. …

While he disagrees with their methods and beliefs, Mr Martin does not believe the organisers of such groups are deliberately hateful people.

“The people involved with these groups don’t actually mean harm – they are lovely individuals, I’m sure. However, they are genuinely ignorant and driven by personal belief that is not in tune with reality.”

Of the dozens of so-called reformed gays Mr Martin worked with 20 years ago, only a few are still heterosexual and the majority wound up leading “messy lives”, he said.

“Some of those people got married but it inevitably ended in divorce and the sad part is most situations involved children.”

Martin, now a counseling psychologist, helps confused and troubled gays and lesbians come to terms with their own sexuality.