Church Ministers prepared to break law over conversion therapy ban

Dec 8, 2021 by

by Donna Birrell, Premier:

A group of Christian ministers and pastoral workers say they’re willing to break the law if it means defending the right to teach traditional Christian views.

They’ve written to the Equalities Minister, Liz Truss in response to a consultation on so-called conversion therapy – practices which seek to suppress or change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, often in a religious setting.

The consultation finishes on Friday and the ministers fear that if the legislation becomes law it will have a detrimental effect on the teaching of traditional Christian views on marriage and sexual ethics.

Reverend Graham Nicholls is Director of Affinity, an evangelical group of churches who has signed the letter. He says he is prepared to go to prison if necessary to defend his traditional Christian beliefs.

He’s been speaking to Premier.

“We particularly wanted to write from the perspective of practitioners, people who are pastors, youth workers, and counsellors. We don’t know how this law about conversion therapy could impact their work and their ordinary, everyday work of chatting with people, encouraging people, praying with people that could be severely impacted. So we thought it was important from the point of view of practising pastors.

“Those who are campaigning for the law, their stated aim is that prayers or any kind of encouragement to do what we would say the Bible is teaching in terms of sexual ethics, should be prohibited. We don’t know how the law will work out, but I think if those demands were met, then really any conversation with your family or if your child asks a question about their sexuality or their gender and you give them some advice, potentially, that could fall foul of the law. If you give them advice from a Christian perspective that questions or suggests there is a good or a bad path to follow.”

Read here

The Minister’s Consultation Response can be found here.


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