‘Gay cure’ therapy will be banned for members of the leading body of Christian counselors in the UK.
The Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) said it has instructed members to stop the practice ‘in the interests of public safety’.
The treatment, widely discredited and known to be deeply damaging to a person’s health, was finally agreed by the ACC to not work.
As reported by The Guardian, the group said it ‘implies that sexuality can be “repaired” and so introduces the idea of treatment or cure… it suggests that a specific outcome is possible and appears to make an a priori assumption that it should happen.’
The statement makes clear the practice is incompatible with the Equality Act 2010 and it is not endorsed.
Justifying its new stance, a change since their last statement in 2012, the ACC explained ‘such models have the potential to create harm and therefore view them as incompatible within the ethos of counseling’.
It advised members to not ‘commence or continue’ using such methods and remove or modify any promotional material advertising ‘gay cures’.
‘In the interests of public safety, we have decided to make clear what is expected by those who choose to be part of ACC,’ they said.
The decision by the ACC follows similar statements by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the UK Council for Psychotherapy and the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Department of Health.
But one of the aggressive proponents of ‘gay cures’ in the UK is resisting the ruling, the Christian organization Core Issues Trust, demanding the ACC ‘provide empirical evidence to support its misleading statement produced on the matter of counseling same-sex attracted persons’.
Claiming it was a misapplication of the Equality Act 2010, they also urged the ACC to ‘avoid compromise of its members’ right to teach and uphold orthodox Christian sexual ethics’.
Patrick Strudwick, a gay journalist who has pioneered the campaign against conversion therapy in the UK, told GSN: ‘When even Britain's Christian counseling organization explains why attempts to convert gay people to heterosexuality through “therapy” are not just nonsense, quack therapy but harmful, you know that we are winning the battle against these dangerous treatments.
‘If we keep up the momentum we will be able to completely eradicate any attempts to make gay people straight.
‘It will come to be seen, universally, in the same light as throwing unmarried mothers in psychiatric units.’
A bill to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy in the UK, introduced by Member of Parliament Geraint Davies, will be heard for a second reading on 24 January.