Gay ‘cure’ therapy will no longer be available in the basic health insurance package in the Netherlands, Dutch Health Minister Edith Schippers announced today.

In a letter to parliament, Schippers said homosexuals who suffer psychologically because of their sexual orientation should be offered pastoral guidance rather than medical treatment, since homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder.

The announcement will affect groups such as Christian-inspired mental health organisation ‘Different’, which claims to provide therapy for homosexuals to help ‘repress their sinful urges’.

Insurance companies could not refuse to pay for treatment as these groups were officially recognised as providers of psychological help, further fuelling right-wing groups who saw this state backing as proof that homosexuality could be cured or changed.

Schippers said: “There’s no question of a psychiatric diagnosis [for homosexuals], no psychiatric treatment, and therefore there should be no insured care.”

‘Different’ will still be entitled to provide pastoral counselling for anyone who is unhappy with their homosexual feelings, but this is to be paid for by the individual.