The Pink Humanist Archive.Read past feature article

A CHURCH in London was forced to cancel a “gay cure” event in April following a petition signed by almost 40,000 people. The five-day “Holy Sexuality Conference”, organised by the Seventh-day Adventist Church was to feature a number of “ex-gay” activists. In a statement the organisers said: “Seventh-day Adventists are a people of peace who believe in hope and dialogue. However, it appeared that rather than drawing people together the conference had the potential to divide. The Adventist Church recognises that the individuals invited to speak at the Holy Sexuality Conference have compelling life stories to share but equally appreciate that there are those who take a different point of view. “We are disappointed that in a society that values freedom of speech and divergence of opinion that there are those whose wish it is to silence individuals who hold a different point of view to their own. We do not believe that the potential disruptions that were being planned for this event would have been beneficial either to the participants or to our friends in the LGBT community. “As such, a decision has been made to cancel the event which had been locally organised by a group of members in the South London area.” Nick Clegg, the then Deputy Prime Minister, had condemned “gay cure” therapy, describing it “dangerous nonsense”. Responding to a question from Telegraph boss Lord Guy Black of Brentwood, Mr Clegg said: “It is grossly offensive to me that anyone could think gay people need to be ‘cured’. If anything needs curing, it is the outdated belief that being gay is wrong or something to be ashamed of. Sexuality is not an illness but an inherent part of who you are. “Most people now recognise conversion therapy as dangerous nonsense, but we do need to challenge any remaining counsellors who believe they can ‘treat’ homosexuality. “Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat Health Minister, helped bring together leading organisations across the NHS, medical and psychological professions to sign up to a new Memorandum of Understanding.This made clear that conversion therapy is unethical, potentially harmful and cannot be provided within the NHS. I wouldn’t rule out further action if necessary.”

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