UK mental health bodies unite to condemn ‘gay cure’ therapy

Psychologist groups say conversion therapy is dangerous, has the potential to cause harm, and is often based on religion than actual understanding of sexuality

UK mental health bodies unite to condemn ‘gay cure’ therapy
28 February 2014

UK’s most senior mental health bodies have released a joint statement condemning ‘gay cure’ therapy today (28 February).

The groups have condemned the practice known as ‘conversion therapy’, as requested by the Department of Health, to say it has potential to cause harm and are more likely to be based on religion rather than on an informed understanding of sexual orientation.

Conversion therapy suggests to vulnerable people, they say, that sexuality is the root cause of their difficulties. This claim the groups say is misleading and prejudiced.

The government has ruled out banning therapists from providing ‘gay cure’ therapy for now, a ruling that has been slammed by LGBTI rights activists.

The UK Council for Psychotherapy said: ‘It is exploitative for a psychotherapist to offer treatment that might ‘cure’ or ‘reduce’ same sex attraction as to do so would be offering a treatment for which there is no illness.’

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy added: ‘There is no scientific, rational or ethical reason to treat people who identify within a range of human sexualities any differently from those who identify solely as heterosexual.’

Same-sex sexual orientations are not diagnosable illnesses, the British Psychological Society says, ‘they do not require any therapeutic interventions to change them.’

The British Psychoanalytic Council states: ‘The BPC does not accept that a homosexual orientation is evidence of disturbance of the mind or in development. In psychoanalytic psychotherapy, it is the quality of people’s relationships which are explored, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual.’

The Royal College of Psychiatrists states: ‘The Royal College of Psychiatrists believes strongly in evidence-based treatment. There is no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.

‘Furthermore, so-called treatments of homosexuality create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination flourish.’

The united statement follows a House of Commons debate in November that stated they will not be putting any ban on gay cure therapy into law.

James Taylor, Head of Policy at Stonewall, said: ‘We’re deeply concerned about voodoo “gay-cure” therapies and their promotion and it is vital we stamp out this damaging practice.

‘In 21st century Britain lesbian, gay and bisexual people should be able to access therapy and counselling services without fear of discrimination or judgement.’

Gay journalist Patrick Strudwick has campaigned the UK government to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy for good. 

Speaking to Gay Star News, he said: ‘I welcome this statement heartily, it serves as both a victory for LGBT people – and those of us who have campaigned against this abusive practice – but alaso as a warning to those still peddling gay "cures". 

‘However, today MPs have the opportunity to stamp out conversion therapy for good, by voting for the Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill, which would regulate the profession, enabling the government to stop any young gay person falling victim to these dangerous quacks.

‘I strongly urge MPs to vote for the bill.’ 



UK MPs launch first trans equality inquiry

UK MPs launch first trans equality inquiry

'Transphobia and hate crimes are a cruel reminder that we have still have a great deal to do to achieve true equality'
No thumbnail available

Rev Otis Charles, first Christian bishop to come out, dies

Episcopal bishop the Rev Otis Charles, who became the first Christian bishop to come out as gay to fight for LGBTI rights in 1993, passed away 26 December
No thumbnail available

Australian state election pledge to end historical convictions for gay sex

The Labor Party in the Australian state of Victoria has pledged to wipe convictions for homosexual acts that were prosecuted prior to decriminalization in 1981 and has called on the Liberal Party to do the same
No thumbnail available

Beijing LGBT Center evicted by landlord

Following complaints from neighbors, Beijing LGBT Center forced to find new premises
No thumbnail available

Catholics deliver one million anti-gay marriage postcards

Archbishop of Southwark Peter Smith asked parishioners to mail their anti-gay views to parliament
No thumbnail available

Jamaica man savagely attacked by mob for allegedly having gay sex

Two young men are reported to have been caught trying to have gay sex in a Jamaican university, one escaped the other was beaten by a cheering mob and security officers who were supposed to protect him
No thumbnail available

Judge rules Florida clerks must provide same-sex marriage certificates starting 6 January

'There should be no debate...on the question whether a clerk of court may follow the ruling, even for marriage-license applicants who are not parties to this case'
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Republican US senator predicts gay marriage will be nationwide

'Let’s face it, anybody who does not believe that gay marriage is going to be the law of the land just hasn’t been observing what’s going on'
No thumbnail available

Gay X Factor finalist Rylan says he kissed David Beckham

Lord of the Rings actor exhanged numbers with singer Rylan Clark, claiming he is a 'huge fan'