In my previous piece, I explored reasons why people choose to move away from same-sex attraction and seek therapy to enable them to do so. I explained that the LGBT lobby see this desire to move away from homosexuality as evidence of homophobia. They therefore ban this therapy.
For those with unwanted same-sex attraction, the option of therapy provides clients with hope and support. Many reported their depression or suicidal thoughts subsided or diminished in response to the therapy.
For these people, affirmation could have been damaging.
One recipient explains:
“I always felt let down by the medical profession because, while officially therapists say they will not judge the client, they would not accept the validity of my choice not to identify as gay. I felt angry, cheated and discriminated against. The consultations contradicted the principle of self-determination that I was promised.”
It is hard to see how affirming a person’s unwanted same-sex attractions is a more compassionate approach.
For those whose same-sex attractions are a response to abuse they experienced as children, preventing therapy stops healing taking place.
Banning so-called “conversion therapy” may only affect a tiny number of people. However, the implications extend well beyond the individuals concerned.
There is a particularly extreme ban in Canberra which imposes both a prison sentence and heavy fine on anyone involved in any effort to change a person’s sexual attractions or identity even when that change is a desired, individual choice.
This could result in parents, guardians or teachers being imprisoned if they even had a conversation with their children who were experiencing gender dysphoria and counselled them to think carefully about gender transitioning.
A priest praying for a member of the congregation who wished to overcome their same-sex attraction could likewise be locked up.
In Calgary, a new by-law means that anyone involved in an attempt to reduce non-heterosexual attraction or behaviour could find themselves subject to a year in jail or a $10,000 fine. Speaking events where same-sex behaviour is called into question, expressions in support of a traditional view of marriage, those in recovery programmes for sexual addiction, or even facilitating embracing a Christian rather than a gay identity — all could potentially be seen as a criminal offence. Penalties are imposed not just on the individual providing the therapy but on the owners of properties so Churches will be penalised as well.
Even in the UK, the implication of banning therapies is to drive the true Church underground.
So far, the therapy ban has been confined to Albania, Malta, Germany, Calgary and Canberra. However, the LGBT lobby are pushing for it both in the UK and in the US. The UN is under pressure to make sure that all its members outlaw therapy.
All this has implications for freedom of speech.
Therapeutic conversations are a private and confidential matter. Banning would violate freedom of speech of both clients and therapists, as well as third parties such as supervisors of therapists.
It would violate the European Convention on Human Rights as “freedom to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authorities” would be affected.
The effects of this on academic freedom can already be seen. For example, researchers who provide findings in any way supportive of therapy are professionally marginalised, investigated, cut off from future grant monies and risk career threatening damage. Journals which publish research which identifies the efficacy of sexual orientation therapy are under huge pressure to remove the studies. The result is that research is heavily compromised.
Even when professionals recognise that therapy can be effective, it is banned. Dr Di Hodgson, speaking for the UK Council for Counselling and Psychotherapy, explains:
“Whether or not something works doesn’t mean that it is ethical or in the public interest or the right thing to do for someone. So we have taken a view in a way which is regardless of the scientific findings.”
Where banning has not yet been made law, vigilantes and the mainstream media help keep it in place.
For example, those who move away from same-sex attraction can become the subjects of high levels of intimidation and harassment if they go public about their choice.
The Core Issues Trust, which provides support for those wishing to explore their sexuality, has been the subject of an ongoing campaign by the LGBT lobby to shut it down.
In 2012, their advertising campaign on London buses: “Not gay! Ex gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!” was banned by then Mayor Boris Johnson despite being passed by the Committee of Advertising Practice.
The Vue Cinema cancelled, at the very last minute, the Core Issues Trust screening of Voices of the Silenced.
A fully vetted and paid-up advertising campaign was banned and tagged as hate speech on Facebook.
All their accounts with PayPal were unilaterally ended following a decade of good relations.
Mailchimp accounts were ended overnight despite entirely appropriate use.
Their Wikipedia page was changed and they were unable to access it to make corrections.
Barclays Bank unilaterally shut down their account despite years of good relations. Yet they have accounts with Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is punishable by death.
It is not clear why the LGBT lobby should be so determined to silence the tiny number of individuals who don’t agree to submit themselves to its diktats. It suggests a fragility and hollowness of the LGBT point of view.
In my next article, I will explore why, at a time when we are promoting a whole spectrum of sexualities, we are determined to silence and censor the “ex-gay”.