Gay conversion: C of E bishop backs prosecution of proponents

Jun 9, 2021 by

by Harriet Sherwood, Guardian:

David Walker says faith leaders should face full force of law if they fail to comply with proposed ban.

Faith leaders should face prosecution if they fail to comply with the government’s promised ban on so-called gay conversion therapy, a senior bishop in the Church of England has said.

David Walker, the bishop of Manchester, told the Guardian: “Where activity has harmed someone, the person who has caused the harm should face prosecution.” That activity should include prayer aimed at changing someone’s sexual orientation, he added.

He said he was not referring to “gentle, non-coercive prayer, but where there is a level of power imbalance and a level of force”.

The government announced in the Queen’s speech last month that it would hold a consultation on conversion practices before bringing forward legislation on a ban. Campaigners have said the government’s stated intention to ensure that religious freedom and freedom of speech are upheld could lead to loopholes.

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