Gay conversion therapy: Hundreds of religious leaders call for ban

Dec 16, 2020 by

By Harry Farley, BBC News

More than 370 religious leaders from around the world are calling for a ban on conversion therapy – the attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The signatories to the declaration represent all the world’s major faiths and many are known LGBT advocates.

They include South African cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Chief Rabbi of Ireland David Rosen.

Other religious figures said a ban could risk criminalising pastors.

A declaration calling for a ban will be launched at a conference sponsored by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) on Wednesday.

The Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes, and Mary McAleese, the former president of Ireland, are also among those who have signed the declaration.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeated a promise to ban conversion therapy, saying in July that the practice was “absolutely abhorrent” and “has no place in this country”.

The government has yet to publish details of the ban but said it had commissioned research and would outline its plans “in due course”.

The term “conversion therapy” refers to any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity.

It can range from electric shock treatment to religious teachings or talking therapies designed to change someone’s sexuality…

…However, many conservative religious groups across different faiths say that a ban could infringe on religious freedom.

They are concerned that a ban would mean the government legislating what faith leaders can and cannot teach.

Peter Lynas, UK Director of the Evangelical Alliance which represents 3,000 churches in the UK, says he supports an “end [to] extreme and coercive behaviour without banning change or conversion, which are central to Christianity”.

He told the BBC a ban could risk “criminalising counsellors, pastors and even those asked to pray with people.”

Read here

See also:

‘Freedoms, Rights and Self-Determination.  Counselling Men and Women with Unwanted Sexual Attractions and Gender Confusion’; a report on the IFTCC online Conference, November 2020, by Dr Lisa Nolland, for Anglican Mainstream

Christian Institute briefing about ‘conversion therapy’ ban here

Why an anti-conversion therapy Bill in Australia is a huge threat to churchesby David Robertson, theweeflea

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