The Irishman who claims to help people with ‘unwanted same-sex attractions’

Apr 20, 2019 by

by Fionola Meredith, Irish Times:

On the evening of Valentine’s Day in February this year, a group of gay rights activists gathered outside Townsend Street Presbyterian Church in North Belfast, holding banners saying “self-hatred is not therapy” and “love needs no cure”.

The activists were there to protest about the Irish premiere of a film to be shown at the church that night. The name of the film is “Once Gay: Matthew and Friends”. Produced and promoted by a Northern Ireland-based Christian charity, Core Issues Trust, it tells the story of a young singer-songwriter called Matthew Grech, a contestant in the Maltese version of the X Factor, who caused outrage when he announced his personal renunciation of homosexuality on national television.

Gay conversion therapy, which aims to change the sexual orientation of non-heterosexual people, or to reduce their attraction to others of the same sex, is probably one of the most controversial therapies in the world right now. Indeed, many experts take issue with the word “therapy” itself, in this context, since the practice is considered unscientific, unethical and potentially harmful by all major professional bodies.

[…]  But Mike Davidson of Core Issues Trust insists that there are vital issues of personal freedom at stake. He rejects the idea that sexual orientation is innate and immutable. He claims that sexual identity is a private matter, and that individuals must be free “to leave unwanted homosexual practices” and that they have a right to seek professional assistance to achieve that.

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