Displaying items by tag: conversion therapy
Rev Richard Coles has called for an end to conversion therapy. Speaking during a BBC programme Morning Live, he said that the practice, which attempts to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, causes ‘untold misery’. Last month, the Government announced in the Queen's Speech that measures would be brought forward to ban the therapy. ‘I'm a priest of the Church of England and I'm also gay and for me that's never been a problem’. he said. ’But some people do and indeed find that so unendurable that they seek, some would say therapy, intervention, call it what you will, to pray the gay away.’ Coles said he always took his own homosexuality as ‘a given that I had no choice over at all’. The Church of England says conversion therapy has ‘no place in the modern world’. For an alternative perspective, see
Following the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the Government will ban conversion therapy, the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, chair of the Living in Love and Faith Next Steps Group, said: ‘The Church of England believes that all people are made in the image of God and must be cherished for who they are. The General Synod has voted overwhelmingly to reject coercive conversion therapies, so we welcome the Government’s commitment to explore these matters further with a view to enshrining that position in law. We recognise the difficulties in defining conversion therapies, and look forward to working closely with the Government to develop a viable definition and subsequent legislation. We want to prevent abuses of power, and ensure that issues of consent are made absolutely central to any future legislation.’ Pray for people to recognise that gay conversion therapy is unethical, harmful, and not supported by evidence.
He dressed as a woman, wore makeup, called himself Danielle and competed in drag queen pageants. But there was no happiness in the gay lifestyle. ‘I looked into the mirror and couldn’t recognise myself. It scared me.’ Could God forgive him? He stepped away from pageants and went to church one Sunday. At the end of the service, Daniel walked forward to the altar to receive Jesus into his heart. The pastor gave him a warm, welcoming handshake. ‘I wept on his shoulder and he kept saying, “The Father loves you. He loves you. He loves you”. My heart began to break and I said, “Jesus, I submit, I surrender to you”’. Daniel cut ties with the LBGT community and destroyed every vestige of his former lifestyle. ‘I knew that the Father loved me. I've never felt so at home in my skin.’ He is now with Living Waters Ministries, helping people around the world to overcome brokenness through Christ.
Government proposals to ban all forms of conversion therapy for LGBT people could ‘restrict individual freedom’ and ‘criminalise Christians and common church activities’, said Peter Lynas, director of the Evangelical Alliance. A public petition to make the practice illegal in the UK, which gained more than 250,000 signatures, was debated in the House of Commons last week. The equalities minister said that the Government was committed to outlawing the ‘abhorrent’ practice, and would shortly be bringing forward plans to do so. Mr Lynas argues that, while electro-shock treatment and corrective rape should be ended, the lack of a clear definition of conversion therapy by the Government was challenging: ‘Many lobbying for change are seeking an expansive definition that we could not support.’ Current proposals could restrict individual freedom and impinge on essential religious liberty, potentially criminalising Christians and common church activities.
A Christian ministry has been targeted by activists because it offers help to people who want to move away from same-sex attraction or behaviours. Core Issues Trust (CIT) is a non-profit Christian ministry that supports men and women voluntarily seeking change in sexual preference and expression. Led by Mike Davidson, the group has received abusive calls and messages, and been dropped by multiple service providers since being targeted through a social media campaign. It has now heard from Barclays Bank that its accounts are closed. Barclays is a top-ranking employer on Stonewall’s list. The Christian Legal Centre is supporting CIT as it seeks to resolve these issues. CIT said, ‘The term “conversion therapy” is being used as a catch-all phrase to discredit any help that people may provide to those with mixed sexual attractions who prefer their heterosexual side. This could include a listening ear, formal counselling or spiritual support.’
A survey to understand ‘the impact of religious belief on people’s understanding and acceptance of their sexual orientation’ by a charity promoting equality and religious diversity found that 20% of conversion therapy patients attempted suicide. The scale, severity and age at which children are exposed to therapy are worrying. Both the Church and the NHS offer conversion therapy to reduce people’s attraction to others of the same sex. On 4 February gay Christian David Bennet’s autobiography was advertised as a book to challenge the Church. David holds the tension of an orthodox reading of the Bible with passages highlighting that homosexual people of faith are also part of God’s divine conspiracy to reveal His love to humanity. In his opening acknowledgements, Bennet says he hopes the book will change the pressures and prejudices faced by LGBs. On 15 February Mike Davidson spoke to the BBC about the film ‘Once Gay’, which had caused demonstrations at its première. See