'Get well' therapy offered for gay
Lublin - Often considered sick, deviant or sinners, gays and lesbians in deeply Catholic Poland are being nudged towards church-steered programmes designed to help them fight their homosexuality.
In the southeastern city of Lublin, a hub of Roman Catholic teaching, a nondescript white building houses Odwaga, or Courage, an organisation which offers "therapy" for homosexuals -- to the consternation of gay rights groups who find it an aberration.
Behind its walls, men are taught to kick a football around, women take cookery lessons and, above all, participants spend time praying with priests.
"The goal isn't to change the patient, to shift their orientations, but rather to prepare them to accept their leanings," said Lena Wojdan, a Warsaw-based psychologist involved in Odwaga programmes.
Life can be hard for homosexuals in Poland -- where more than 90 percent of the 38.2-million-strong population is Catholic and where the gay and lesbian community has complained of living in a "climate of fear".