‘Conversion therapy’ ban: latest

May 17, 2021 by

The government briefly decided not to proceed with a legal ban, but then after intense lobbying, they decided to try to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’ (whatever that is), but to exempt ‘transgender’ cases from any ban on counselling. LGBT lobby groups predictably feel ‘betrayed’, and have withdrawn support for the government’s flagship LGBT conference in June, which the government has now cancelled. News, analysis and comment below.

(Newer items at the top)

Can you be a Christian without conversion? from Let Us Pray: “It seems supporters of the conversion therapy ban want to outlaw any kind of prayer or pastoral support which seeks to guide a person toward a biblical understanding of sexuality and identity. But all this undermines the very heart of Christianity.”

We are here, we exist, say ex-LGBT Christians, from Christian Today:
Christians gathered in London at a conference to hear powerful testimonies about how people with same sex attraction and gender dysphoria have found redirection of desires and psychological wholeness through the love of God.

A new blasphemy law? by James Kennedy, The Critic:
Violent and abusine ‘conversion therapies’ have been illegal for decades. So what is it that activists really want banned? As many are realising, it is everyday speech. Some angry LGBT campaigners are seeking to silence debate on issues of sexuality and gender, especially in churches.

Invisible conversion therapy, by Nick Buckley:
If you do not want your child to be gay, a socialist, or a vegan, then you have the right to influence and persuade. Obviously, not beat, punish or torture – this is illegal. We need to be tolerant of all opinions, especially the ones we disagree with. I do not know anyone, including gay people, who think we need this law.

Christian group threatens government with legal action over conversion therapy ban, from Christian Concern: Christian Concern has threatened the government with legal action if it goes ahead with its proposed ‘conversion therapy’ ban.

Evangelical Alliance calls for clarity around conversion therapy ban, from Christian Today

Letters on the Ban on Conversion Therapy from Bible and Mission

Press pause on Conversion Therapy Bill – Letter to The Times

Stonewall ‘holding No 10 to ransom’ after boycotting Safe To Be Me summit by Kaya Terry, Mailonline

Is banning conversion therapy legal? by Roger Kiska, The Critic

‘Safe To Be Me’ LGBT conference cancelled after boycott, BBC News

Government LGBT conference in doubt after backtrack on conversion therapy ban,
by John-Paul Ford Rojas, Sky News: Stonewall accuses the prime minister of breaking a promise after ministers decided to exclude transgender people from the ban on conversion therapy.

Religious leaders urge PM to include trans people in conversion therapy ban:
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams is among the signatories of a letter sent to Boris Johnson. From Evening Standard

Church leaders tell PM continuing with conversion therapy ban is a ‘mistake’, from Christian Institute

Church leaders warn Boris Johnson his ‘conversion therapy’ reversal puts pastors at risk,
from Christian Today

We believe it’s possible! from X-Out-Loud:

X-Out-Loud is an international community of mainly young people which believes that all people should have the freedom to choose how to live their lives and be able to leave LGBT identities and behaviours behind if they want to. We believe that anyone who wants help with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion should have the right to get the help and support they need to achieve their personal goals, whatever they look like.

Anglican bishops accused of abandoning over 2,000 ministers for opposing ‘conversion therapy’ bill, by Michael Haynes, LifeSite

Conversion Therapy Helpline is ‘state-sanctioned surveillance’, by Carys Moseley, Christian Concern

Web host drops church over opposition to gay conversion therapy ban, By Julian Mann, Christian Today

Sheffield bishop berates his clergy for backing scripture and science over progressive politics,
by Julian Mann, Anglican Ink: The Bishop of Sheffield has accused evangelical clergy worried about the UK government’s upcoming ban on gay conversion therapy of causing ‘unnecessary anguish’ to LGBT people.

Twitter trolls show conversion therapy ban is targeting Christian theology, from Christian Institute

Do Anglican bishops really want their own clergy to end up in jail? by Matthew Roberts, Christian Today

Even Failed Therapy for Undesired Same-Sex Sexuality Results in No Harm, Finds New Study, by Andrè Van Mol

An International Declaration on “Conversion Therapy” and Therapeutic Choice, from IFTCC:
The right to self-determination is an established principle of international law, and therefore must include the right to shape and develop one’s own sexual identity, feelings and associated behaviours, and to receive support to do so.

Bishop sides with Pride against orthodox clergy, By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream:
C of E leaders have criticised those who oppose a ban on ‘conversion therapy’ which could criminalise certain conversations, and bible-based Christian ministry. Faithful Anglicans need to decide whether the time has come to look to Gafcon and Global South for oversight, rather than an institution which follows state-sponsored secular ideologies.

Oxford Pride condemns conversion therapy open letter, from BBC News: Church leaders and an LGBT charity from Oxfordshire have condemned a letter signed by Christian ministers opposing a ban on conversion therapy.

Gay conversion therapy ban comes into effect in Australia, by Jennifer Lee, Christian Today

New Zealand bans conversion therapy following almost unanimous vote, by Sophie Drew, Premier

“Non-directive” preaching, from ilfordipc:
It sounds like something straight from George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth”. But it is in fact language that the Scottish parliament’s equalities committee are using as they explore out-lawing “conversion therapy”. The committee has concluded that religious teaching and prayer about sexual identity should only be permitted if it’s conducted in a “non-directive way” (para 3).

If the Government gets its conversion therapy ban wrong, mainstream Christianity would become illegal, by Matthew Roberts, Premier Christianity

How much are assurances on conversion therapy worth? from Christian Concern: Paul Huxley comments on whether we can really trust government assurances that Christian teaching won’t be banned with ‘conversion therapy’.

Do critics of ‘conversion therapy’ live in a fact-free zone? by Michael Cook, Bio Edge:


Do efforts to change sexual orientation (‘conversion therapy’) cause harm? by Ian Paul, Psephizo.
Dr Paul interviews Dr Sullins about his research, which concludes that there is no evidence of harm caused by sexual orientation change therapies.

Banning the Gospel? from The Christian Institute: Matthew Roberts and Ian Paul, co-authors of the Ministers Consultation Letter, in conversation with Simon Calvert of CI.

Cambridge academic critiques Govt research on Conversion Therapy, by Vincent Harinam, Let Us Pray

Where is the evidence that ‘conversion therapy’ is harmful? by Michael Cook, MercatorNet:
More on the Sullins research.

YouTube censors pastor for opposing Canada’s ‘conversion therapy’ bill, by Kurt Mahlburg, MercatorNet

Conversion therapy ban must not infringe on religious freedom, says equalities watchdog, from Christian Today:
In a major intervention, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said, “Encouraging people to comply with religious doctrine that requires refraining from certain types of sexual activity should not fall within the definition of conversion therapy either.”

Support for conversion therapy bans are revealing the divide between two different Christianities,
by David Robertson, Christian Today. What the debate between Jayne Ozanne and Pete Lynas (of EA) shows about true Christian faith and its counterfeit.


The hunt for the ‘gay gene’ continues by Michael Cook, MercatorNet

Support the Church Ministers’ response to the Consultation on Banning ‘Conversion Therapy’.
Petition: The letter below, signed by 2546 Christian ministers and pastoral workers, was sent to the Secretary of State on December 21st. We now invite all Christians who want to signal their support, to sign it.

‘The fear is that evangelical teaching is next’: Evangelical Alliance figure clashes with Christian LGBT campaigner over conversion therapy ban, by Kelly Valencia, Premier:
Pete Lynas debates with Jayne Ozanne on Premier’s ‘Unbelievable’ podcast. Ozanne wants a ban on “prayer with a predetermined outcome’, but denies that the expression of the traditional view on sexuality should be banned.

Government fails to quell fears over ‘conversion therapy’ ban, by Carys Moseley, Christian Concern:
The Government Equalities Office is attempting to ride out the remaining three weeks of the consultation with reassurances to the public. Let’s see how convincing they are.

Children and teachers ‘could be harmed’ by conversion therapy ban, say Association of Christian Teachers, from Christian Today

We need to talk about conversion therapy before it is barred, say MPs, by Edward Malnick, Telegraph: 30 Tory MPs warn against rushing through a new law “without debate”.


Breaking faith, by Mike Davidson, The Critic:
Barclays provided for the Christian ministry Core Issues Trust since 2011, and the International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice (IFTCC) since 2019. On 13 July 2020, Barclays notified us that, following a three month notice period, both accounts would be closed.

Gay conversion therapy does not work’ – Really? by Lisa Nolland, Christian Today

Our pastoral talk on conversion therapy ban is none of Whitehall’s business, by Andrea Williams, The Conservative Woman: “Telling pastors they can give support as long as it reinforces Government-approved ideology strikes at the heart of the moral character of the Church.”

Christian freedoms must be protected, (ordinary) church leaders tell government: Why the ‘Ministers’ Consultation Response’ to the proposed ‘conversion therapy’ ban is a sign of a major shift in evangelical approach to secular culture. By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream:

Plans to ban conversion therapy delayed amid growing unease from parents, teachers and church, by Hayley Dixon, Telegraph

Church Ministers prepared to break law over conversion therapy ban, by Donna Birrell, Premier. Hundreds of ministers have signed a letter calling for the government to reconsider its proposed ban: the assurances on protections for religious freedom do not go far enough.

When does talking or praying about sexuality become conversion therapy? by Archbishop Cranmer: 

“…conversion’ prayers along the lines of ‘Please Lord, please take this temptation away’ must be prohibited, and so must all pastoral counselling which does anything but affirm a person’s sexual orientation and essential desires for homosexual exploration. To encourage them to question or resist such urges will constitute a form of abuse. To allude to any sexual behaviour being unnatural will be an expression of hate.”

Freedom of beliefLetter to The Times from John Stevens of FIEC

A ‘conversion therapy’ ban would put sexual minorities in harm’s wayfrom Christian Concern: Dr (Med) Andre Van Mol explains how the UK government’s proposed ‘conversion therapy’ ban against counselling choice puts already-at-risk sexual minorities in harm’s way.

Conversion therapy ban: A response to calls to outlaw ‘hate prayer’by Andrea Williams, Christian Today

Liz Truss: Free speech about religion must be protected in conversion therapy banfrom The Christian Institute: The Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss has affirmed the Government’s stance that free speech and religious liberty should be protected from an overly-broad conversion therapy ban.

Canadian Bishop rejoices over conversion therapy banfrom Anglican Samizdat: After the passing of our liberal government’s motion to ban conversion therapy, Anna Greenwood-Lee, bishop of the Diocese of B.C. tweeted her approval…

The twisted logic of ‘conversion therapy’ critics (video)

Ending conversion therapy? From Evangelical Alliance:
Earlier in the year we wrote to the Prime Minister warning that a badly focused and worded policy could pose a significant threat to religious liberty and personal freedoms.

Unpacking research into the prevalence of conversion therapy by therapists in the UK, by Peter Jenkins, Transgender Trend

Groups clash over lobbying MLAs on gay conversion therapy ban, by Philip Bradfield, Belfast News Letter:
Dr Mike Davidson said: “Our campaign was thought necessary given the failure of media in the UK to platform voices supporting the view that sexuality is fluid, and in some cases changeable.” However LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “People cannot change their sexuality”.

Banning conversion therapy: a step too far or not far enough? by David Robertson, Christian Today

UK Govt consultation on ‘conversion therapy’: respond today, from The Christian Institute:
LGBT activists want a repressive law that would affect the everyday work of churches and restrict freedom of speech generally. It is crucial that the Government hears reasoned arguments from Christians about what is at stake if the law goes too far.

Debunking a Fallacy: New Study Shows Therapy for Undesired Same-sex Attraction “Can Be Effective, Beneficial, and Not Harmful”, by Andre Van Mol, MD, Christian Medical & Dental Associations

‘Loving people is allowing them to have these conversations’: Christian Concern’s Head of Public Policy, Tim Dieppe, spoke to LBC Radio about the possible ban.

Sexuality in Crisis – Where is the Science? by Dr Peter May, Core Issues Trust:
Professor Michael King, who recently died, influenced the Royal College of Psychiatry to hold that sexual orientation is innate and unchangeable. He changed his mind – but by then LGBT ideology, not science, was informing societal change and government policy.

‘You’re a disgrace’: radio host clashes with pastor over prayers for those with unwanted same-sex attraction, from Premier

Criminalising Christians, by Simon Calvert, The Critic: Activists demand the most religiously repressive law the UK has seen in centuries.

In praise of conversion, by Matthew Roberts, The Critic
True humanity is found not by looking inwards but by looking upwards; not from following your heart but following the Son of God. Jesus’ mission was and is to “convert” us from the former to the latter. It is this turn from self to God… which “conversion therapy” campaigners apparently want to make illegal.

Therapists must be allowed to question gender identity by Maya Forstater, UnHerd

WEBINAR: ‘Conversion therapy’ consultation – How to take part, The Christian Institute

A summary of the government’s consultation on conversion therapy, Peter Lynas, Evangelical Alliance

Watch:  LGB Alliance’s Malcolm Clark tells Talk Radio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer “Gay conversion therapy is rare in the UK, what’s not rare is huge numbers of young people convinced they are trans. This will soar if you criminalise normal exploratory therapy.”

Criminalising Christians by Simon Calvert, The Critic

Watch: Why ‘conversion therapy’ bans are harmful | Round the Table with Christian Concern

The pernicious power of prayer, by Simon Calvert, TCW: “The Ban Conversion Therapy (BCT) campaign makes no secret of wanting ordinary church activities such as prayer to be brought within the ambit of a conversion therapy ban. They specifically want to outlaw ‘gentle non-coercive prayer’.”

Conversion therapy ban: Government ‘committed to outlawing’ practice by Spring 2022, LGBT rights envoy says, by Jasmine Andersson, iNews

Why discrimination is not the way forward – A response to the Cooper report on ‘conversion practices.’ by Martin Davie

Ozanne Foundation wants state surveillance of Christian ministries , by Carys Moseley, Christian Concern

[Meanwhile, what about…]   Life beyond LGBT

from Christian Today: X-Outloud is a growing network across Europe of people who are no longer LGBT and a collection of their testimonies can be found in the ministry’s new book.

How (Not) To Ban Conversion TherapyBy Andrew Bunt, Think Theology: The harm done by conversion practices is central to the argument of the [Cooper] report: the harm done by such practices requires their immediate criminalisation and justifies necessary limits on freedom of religion, belief, and expression. However, the report fails to cite much evidence of this harm.

Respond to Welsh govt LGBTQ+ action planfrom Christian Concern: The Welsh Government is currently consulting on its draft LGBTQ+ Action Plan. Some of the proposed policies are very concerning, including the proposal to ban ‘LGBT conversion therapy’ in Wales for both adults and children.

Will we soon see state surveillance of Christian ministries? by Carys Moseley, Christian Today: The Cooper Report demands that the UK government should criminalize prayer and exorcism, and arrange for ‘intelligence gathering’, i.e. spying on ‘repeat offenders’ of ‘conversion practices’.

Conversion therapy ban: Government ‘committed to outlawing’ practice by Spring 2022, LGBT rights envoy saysby Jasmine Andersson, iNews: Lord Herbert, appointed in May to champion LGBT equality at home and abroad, is the first Government official to firm up a time the ban will take effect.

With a conversion therapy ban on the table, the threat of jail for Christians is realby David Robertson, Christian Today: The Cooper Report, just published by the Ozanne Foundation, argues that freedom of religion (eg prayer, and teaching of orthodox sexual ethics), and freedom of personal choice (eg seeking help with overcoming unwanted same sex attraction) should be curtailed in order to ‘prevent harm’. If this becomes law, will churches comply, keep their heads down, or resist?

Conversion therapy ban will be the ‘beginning of the end’ for Christian freedomsfrom Christian Today

Conversion therapy ban: Government ‘committed to outlawing’ practice by Spring 2022, LGBT rights envoy says, iNews

NEW ZEALAND: Confessing Anglican Bishop Condemns Prohibition of Conversion PracticesBy Bishop Jay Behan, VirtueOnline. [A comprehensive and clear submission to the NZ version of the Bill which Christian leaders in the UK would do well to emulate – Ed.]

‘My church didn’t know what to do with me’ – Libby’s transgender storyBy Libby Littlewood, Premier Christianity: During her teenage years Libby Littlewood pleaded with God to make her ‘feel like a girl’. With her prayers seemingly unanswered, she transitioned to live as a man aged 17, before being convicted by God to de-transition in her early twenties. Here’s her story in full.

‘X-OUT-LOUD: Emerging X LGBT Voices’: Great resource (100 page book) available now! Features 44 unique stories from 22 countries of men and women leaving LGBT identities. This collection of testimonies proves that change becomes possible when we encounter the risen Saviour.

A gay conversion therapy ban could be a threat to marriage supportersfrom Coalition for Marriage

Neither ‘straight’ nor honest – The Times’ undercover investigation into conversion therapy by Lynda Rose, Christian Today

Church in Wales Bishops endorse ban on “gay conversion therapy in all its forms”By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream: The Bishops of the Church in Wales have made it clear that any Christian teaching, counselling or prayer which implies preference towards “heterosexual norms”, or which is not positive towards homosexual practice and gay or transgender identity, should be included in a legal ban.

What’s wrong with banning ‘conversion therapy’? from Christian Concern

The problem with the ‘born gay’ theoryby Gavin Ashenden, Christian Today

Canadian Psychotherapist Says That School Teachers are Cultivating Transgender Kids by Wyatt Claypool, The National Telegraph

Born gay? Sam Salter: ‘Finding my true identity’, by Rebekah Moffett, Christian Concern: Since first sharing his story of finding freedom from homosexual desires with X-Out-Loud Europe, Sam Salter has been vocal about his experiences of what others label ‘conversion therapy’ and the need not to ban it.

Will we soon see pastors prosecuted for saying the Lord’s Prayer? by Julian Mann, Christian Today

[Read Jayne Ozanne’s reply in Christian Today here:

…neither I nor anyone else are seeking to ban the Lord’s Prayer. I am however seeking a ban on any religious practice that is focused on an individual with a predetermined outcome that tells them that they cannot be anything other than heterosexual or cis-gendered. This includes any prayer that causes someone to suppress …who God has made them to be. ]

Ex-gay Milo Yiannopoulos delivers message of hope: ‘Born this way’ is a lie. You can changeby Doug Mainwaring, LifeSite

Christian Institute ‘alarmed’ at calls for ‘gentle non-coercive prayer’ to be included in conversion therapy banby Kelly Valencia, Premier

Thinking about harm, by Martin Davie, Reflections of an Anglican Theologian: “In his recent article on the issue of the proposed banning of conversion therapy published on the Via Media website, the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, argues that in thinking about this issue we need to focus on the issue of harm…I have two problems with this argument.”

Bishop of Manchester threatens orthodox AnglicansBy Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream:

“It’s one thing for the Bishop of Manchester to disagree with the sexual ethics of the Christian church down the ages. He is going much further than that – in his support for a ban on all forms of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ he is campaigning for the criminalisation of many of his own faithful clergy who hold to the traditional view.”

‘Conversion therapy and you’: Psychologist and researcher, Dr Christopher Rosik, along with Andrea Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre and Dr Carys Moseley from Christian Concern reflect on the UK’s drift towards banning therapeutic choice. Join Mike Davidson and Laura Haynes for Episode 5 of this video series examining Conversion Therapy. From Core Issues Trust and IFTCC

Liz Truss says “fundamental differences” led to disbandment of LGBT advisory panel by Zoya Raza-Sheikh, Gay Times

More Britons than ever before identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, by Hugo Greenhalgh, Reuters [but still less than 3% – Ed.]

Co-author of new study explains why homosexual conversion therapy works by Doug Mainwaring, LifeSite

The Government is digging itself deep into trouble over conversion therapyby Peter Lynas, Conservative Home

Statement to the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People Newspapersfrom Core Issues Trust: “The Sunday Mirror, and Sunday People have notified Core Issues Trust that they are to publish this weekend (Sunday 16 May 2021) an article intended to incriminate the Trust following the undercover activities of their reporter Joe Willis. The Trust has issued this statement:…

[The Mirror article, combining material obtained by deception from Core Issues Trust with re-hashed examples of pastorally insensitive counselling, can be seen here.]

Bench of Bishops welcomes proposed ban of gay conversion therapyfrom Church in Wales

Once conversion therapy is criminalised, the pulpit will be nextby Julian Mann, Christian Today:

Government urged to safeguard prayer in conversion therapy banfrom Christian Today: Christians are calling on the Government to ensure that its plans to ban conversion therapy do not stop Christians from being able to pray with people who request it.

Christians invited to give their opinion on government plans to ban gay conversion therapy, from Premier

Gender-identity counselling is not ‘conversion therapy’by Joanna Williams, spiked: A government ban on conversion therapy could lead yet more children down the trans path.

We don’t need a new law against ‘conversion therapy’by Douglas Murray, Spectator

Conversion therapy ban: Campaigners dismayed over delayfrom BBC News

Christian counsellor challenges politician over conversion therapy ‘torture’ claimsfrom Christian Today

Ex-gay man writes to MLAs after facing criticism in assembly debate on gay conversion therapyby Philip Bradfield, Belfast News Letter

CI threatens legal challenge over ban on ‘wrong kind of prayer’from The Christian Institute

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