The Bishop of Dorchester’s statement on ‘Minister’s Consultation Response’ on conversion therapy

Feb 21, 2022 by

By Martin Davie:

[…] This statement is problematic in several ways.

First, the fact that the letter may have upset a lot of people does not mean that the letter should not have been written. The fact that a lot of people were upset does not mean that they should have been upset. The question that has to be answered is whether what was said in the letter provides adequate grounds for people to be upset and as we shall see below the answer to that question is ‘No.’

Secondly, it is not true that the message of the letter is that ‘people’ (presumably LGBTQ+ people) are not safe or welcome in Church of England churches. The letter says:

‘In our churches we welcome and show love to many people who have different experience and views, including same-sex attraction and forms of gender transition. We always seek to act in love, with gentleness and respect, for the good of all, and never with any form of coercion or control.’

How does this send a message that people are not safe or welcome?

Thirdly, the statement claims that the letter ‘cuts across the settled view of the Church of England that coercive conversion therapy is unacceptable and should be banned.’ However, as we have just seen, the letter in fact specifically rejects ‘any form of coercion or control’ and thus any form of coercive conversion therapy.


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