"Gay exorcisms" have long-term psychological effects on young people yet are increasingly common, a Details article reveals.
Some religious leaders, especially those in Pentecostal and evangelical churches, believe removing a demon from a person will change his or her sexual orientation. While some say people enter into the ceremonies voluntarily, the impetus for them typically comes when a family member or church member accuses a gay person of being possessed and says the gay individual needs help.
Such ceremonies are typically deemed "successful" if a person says he or she is not gay anymore, expels their "demons" through vomiting, or speaks in tongues, an indecipherable language some religions consider holy.
Youths are the primary target for gay exorcisms, as it is not typically their decision whether to undergo such rituals. Although multiple youth outreach programs and psychologists think gay exorcisms are detrimental to normal development, no court has ruled the practice illegal.