Editorial: The elections are here, and as I have written before, you need to be careful for whom you vote. Mr Dodds, a right-wing Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland politician, has not denied that on a Newsnight debate that his party would want a coalition to “reject gay rights”. Other parties also have agendas regarding the LGBT community – find out what they are before you vote.
Militant Christian preachers want to ‘cure’ Britain’s gay people with controversial conversion therapy
Reprinted from the Mirror website:
20:30, 18 April 2015 By Boudicca Fox-Leonard
Delegates paid £20 to attend a conference on ‘anti-gay’ therapy in London, where they heard a series of homophobic talks by professionally-accredited therapists
Hardline Christian counsellors say they aim to “cure” Britain’s gays – despite experts branding their treatments potentially harmful.
Our reporter attended a shocking conference on “anti-gay” therapy in Central London this week.
Delegates paid £20 to hear a series of homophobic talks by professionally accredited therapists from several Christian groups.
One likened homosexuality to incest, while another put it in the same bracket as paedophilia.
They told the audience Britain is “in need of redemption” and would be condemned to hell if it failed to stop the rising gay population.
Shocking: The conference was held at the Emmanuel Centre in London
One Christian counsellor, Dr Robert Gagnon, said: “What we are encountering in society now is nothing less than totalitarian thuggery under the guise of love.”
Two of the organisations – The Core Issues Trust and Christian Concern – are registered charities, giving them tax breaks despite their controversial views.
In January, 14 organisations including the British Psychological Society and the NHS endorsed the Government’s memorandum of understanding on conversion therapy.
It said the practice was potentially “damaging” and agreed not to refer people conflicted about their sexuality for “gay cures”.
The Association of Christian Counsellors also signed up.
But at the conference, named Transformation Potential, the association’s John Nightingale revealed his organisation and sister groups still supported the practice.
Speaking at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster, he said the restrictions had put them on a “knife edge” but they would continue regardless, renouncing their accreditation if necessary.
He said: “If it tightened up any more, I have a pretty sure understanding that as an organisation we would step out and become one of the non-registered counselling organisations.
“It might affect my standing in the family of counsellors but I’m happy to make that choice.”
Mike Davidson, of the Core Issues Trust, made headlines in 2013 after trying to advertise his conversion services on London buses.
He and others speaking at the conference rejected any genetic cause of homosexuality and linked it to “trauma” such as sexual abuse, bad father-son relationships, or a lack of masculinity.
Dr Davidson said: “Therapists get to do it regularly for people with adulterous desires or pornographic addiction or paedophilia.
“So is so-called sexual orientation some sacred turf that mustn’t be walked upon?”
James Holland, 47, went to the conference out of curiosity after a bad experience in the past.
He said: “I was alarmed by what I heard but I wasn’t surprised.”
James told how he had conversion counselling 20 years ago as he was unhappy about being gay.
He said: “We were told to be like a glass of water that you keep topping up with masculinity.”
Matt SprakeJames HollandCalls: James Holland who tried conversion counselling said such therapy should be banned
This included not crossing his legs as it was “feminine” and doing male activities like playing football.
He continued: “I was paired with a man in my church to have a healthy same-sex friendship with so I could top up my masculinity.
“I had a crush on my man and it produced so much stress in me I had a breakdown.”
James, of Walthamstow, sought non-Christian therapy and now accepts his homosexuality.
He added: “Gay conversion therapy needs to be banned.”
Last week, US President Barack Obama backed a campaign calling for a federal ban on the practice.