The event which will be run by the 'Catholic Society' has came under fire for essentially allowing a man to speak freely on how practical gay conversion therapy can be.
James Parker, a writer and speaker who has previously been involved in the "Journey Into Manhood" conversion program run through the UK group, People Can Change and also wrote a piece for the International Business Times titled "Gay Conversion: I Slept With Over 200 Men, Now I'm a Happily Married Heterosexual Dad".
"I don't miss the gay lifestyle I left behind – when I visited my ex-boyfriend, five years after therapy, it brought to home to me the drawbacks of that life," Parker wrote. "His voice had become camp and weak, and he had even contracted HIV."
The majority of students from the University of Sydeny, including heterosexuals have felt this speech unnecessary and 'wrong', saying,
I would have been OK with them inviting a priest, discussing why men and women are made for each other according to the Catholic scripture. That would have made sense to me,"
"But I don’t see the pertinence of inviting someone who is supposedly a patient of successful ex-gay therapy, when it has no scientific merit and is actually quite dangerous."
"Quite frankly, the Catholic Society doesn’t seem to care about the welfare of those students."
"I’m upset that this is not a message of love and tolerance. I think this is pushing people away from the Catholic Church at a time when we need people to take the religion seriously and do good things with it."
The president of the Catholic Society has said that the speaker will not be endorsing gay conversion therapy.
"James is simply sharing his experience and testimony and its relation to the complementary of men and women, and we have no doubt he will do so with charity and good will."
"The Catholic Society does not seek to outcast or preach hate against any students on campus, regardless of their beliefs and identities. However, we are entitled to present the Catholic perspective on complementary and the assumption it endorses gay conversion therapy is not correct."