The idea that a gay person can be "cured" of his or her homosexuality is not a new one. For centuries doctors, therapists and religious figures have tried a wide variety of techniques -- from praying to surgery to exorcism -- to "convert" men and women "suffering" from same-sex attractions.
But we have to admit that the "reparative" therapy used by Raymond Bell, pastor of the Cowboy Church of Virginia, is one of the strangest we've come across.
According to Gay Star News, Bell claims that the use of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, or sessions involving the stroking of horses, can aid in the "curing" of maladies and "addictions" like homosexuality.
"EAP can help any person who is living the homosexual lifestyle or involved in it in any way," he told Gay Star News.
Though it isn't clear exactly how EAP works to rid a gay person of their "affliction," Gay Star News notes that it can supposedly make gay men more masculine and that it is used to "identify how a person got 'involved' in homosexuality to begin with... for example, because of rape, abandonment, lacking a male role model, abuse and having low self-esteem."
Bell does not believe that homosexuality is genetic. Instead he claims, "Homosexuality is actually a type of addiction. It is not 'curable' as a disease because it is a 'choice driven' by the person."
"Conversion therapy" has become a hot topic in recent months as California became the first state to outlaw the practice on minors. Though a bill was passed by the California Legislature and was set to take effect on January 1 after being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September, last week the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency order putting the law in limbo until it can hear full arguments on the issue.