Christian ‘gay cure’ supporters fund British MPs’ interns

Campaigner calls for investigation after it emerges that a Christian group that backs ‘gay cures’ embeds interns with MPs

Christian ‘gay cure’ supporters fund British MPs’ interns
22 February 2012 Print This Article

A campaigner has demanded an investigation after it emerged that a Christian organization which backs ‘gay cures’ is also supporting British MPs.

Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) backed a conference in April 2009 which discussed ‘therapeutic approaches to and understandings of same sex attraction’ and ‘mentoring the sexually broken’.

The conference included a speaker from JONAH, a Jewish organization which has becoming increasingly controversial for its ‘gay cure’ therapies.

So called ‘gay cures’ themselves have been discredited by mainstream professional psychological bodies as ineffective and potentially dangerous.

Now campaigner Phillip Dawson has released a list of 20 British MPs who have had interns funded by CARE since the 2009 conference.

The list includes Tim Farron who is president of the Liberal Democrats and Caroline Spelman, the Conservative Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs both of whom have poor records on voting on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues.

Conservative MP David Burrowes, who is trying to rally opposition to gay marriage equality in parliament, has also had longstanding intern support from CARE. However not all the MPs who have had support are homophobes. Labour’s David Lammy is one example of a pro-gay MP who has nevertheless been backed by CARE.

Importantly, none of the MPs have breached parliamentary rules by accepting the support.

Dawson told Gay Star News: ‘I am not alleging the MPs themselves have done anything wrong. But I do feel the issue should be raised partly to alert the MPs themselves that CARE seems to be supporting things they may themselves find unsavory.’

He wants the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow to investigate and has launched a petition to request this.

However, despite Bercow’s personal support for gay issues over a number of years, this falls beyond his powers as Speaker – a job that requires him to be politically neutral.

A spokesman for the Speaker told GSN: ‘Issues relating to MP interns are solely a matter for MPs themselves, and not for the Speaker of the House of Commons.’

Andy Wasley, spokesman for Stonewall, the leading British lesbian, gay and bisexual campaign organization, said Dawson’s research raised serious concerns.

Wasley told GSN: ‘It is a matter of grave concern that this shadowy organization which promotes a voodoo theology about so-called “gay cure therapy” is given any credence or has access to members of parliament.

‘I would hope that any MP who has had contact with CARE would give no less a service to their lesbian, gay and bisexual constituents, many of whom would be deeply concerned to see groups like this offering interns to politicians.’

Gay Star News also contacted CARE but we were told they did not wish to comment. Some links relating them to the conference have apparently been removed from their site since they became aware of Dawson’s research.

Dawson has also launched a Facebook page to encourage Burrowes to change his mind and support same-sex marriage equality.

UPDATE: Pro-gay marriage MP David Lammy has now said he will not be accepting another intern from CARE, who had paid £5,500 ($8,620 €6,511) to an intern who worked in his office from January 2011.

Speaking after GSN published it's initial story, he said he had initially worked with CARE on the subject of betting shops.

But he told his local paper, the Haringey Independent: ‘I had no idea that they held these views and my position now is that I won’t be taking another intern because I can’t agree with their extreme views.’



No thumbnail available

Facebook celebrates gay rights in 2013 year in review video

Victories in marriage equality and heartwarming letters from proud parents, this year celebrates the achievements of the LGBTI community
No thumbnail available

Hallelujah! Original Weather Girl blasts 'gay floods' politician

US singer and Christian Martha Wash dismisses UKIP member David Silvester’s biblical theories
No thumbnail available

Iranian Muslim lesbians marry in religious ceremony in Sweden

Two Iranian Muslim women have done what would be unthinkable in their homeland by entering into a same-sex marriage, and the ceremony was performed by an openly gay Imam
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Gambian president calls homosexuality a ‘social cancer’ in Christmas message

Anti-gay African leader Yahya Jammeh launches fresh attacks on homosexuality and warns Gambians not to expose children to ‘alien cultures’ in annual broadcast
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

New photo series captures gay and lesbian romance around the world

US-based photographer Braden Summers launched his All Love is Equal campaign to show the inherent beauty and romanticism of gay and lesbian couples
No thumbnail available

Leading Tea Party Republican Rand Paul says leave marriage to the states

The leading Tea Party contender to be the Republicans’ 2016 presidential pick, Rand Paul, says that the states should be left to decide on the issue of same-sex marriage and the US federal government should stay out of the issue
The business case for diversity

The business case for diversity

Diverse teams mean more ideas, more innovation, and better problem-solving, says Michael Sinkinson, Assistant Professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
No thumbnail available

Gay Australian veteran newsreader Ian Ross dies at 73

Ian Ross, one of Australia’s best-loved television newsreaders, has died from pancreatic cancer just a few years after he went public about being in a gay relationship