A BBC radio show polled listeners asking if ‘gay cure’ therapy is ‘acceptable’.
So-called ‘conversion’ therapy is considered by all mainstream health organizations to be extremely damaging to a person’s mental and physical health. Some techniques, like electroshock therapy, is considered torture.
BBC Radio Kent invited Dr Ranj Singh, a NHS doctor and broadcaster, on the show to discuss the growing practice of ‘gay cure’ therapy.
‘Gay conversion therapy doesn’t work & is harmful,’ he said.
‘It’s abuse & needs to stop. Let’s just support people to be who they are!’
BBC asks listeners if they agree ‘gay cure’ therapy is ‘acceptable’
Following the discussion, BBC Radio Kent’s Twitter feed asked its listeners whether the practice should be banned.
The options were ‘Yes, it should be banned’, and the other was ‘It’s acceptable practice’.
Stonewall, the UK campaigning charity on LGBT issues, criticized the use of the poll.
They said: ‘It’s shocking and deeply disappointing that the BBC launched a public poll asking if so called ‘conversion therapy’ is acceptable
‘LGBT people aren’t ill. Being gay, lesbian, bi or trans is not something that should be ‘cured’ or changed.
‘This harmful and degrading practice has been condemned by major health organizations.
‘It’s unbelievable that the BBC think this is a suitable topic for discussion or believe it’s appropriate for an online opinion poll.’
BBC issues apology
BBC Radio Kent removed the poll and issued an apology.
‘Earlier we tweeted a poll about gay conversion therapy which breached our guidelines. We have removed this and apologize for offence caused,’ they said.
‘Radio Kent were asking listeners whether it should actually be made illegal. But we accept that the poll wasn’t the most appropriate way of handling this sensitive issue.’
Theresa May refused to make ‘gay cure’ therapy illegal
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has rejected a call to make ‘gay cure’ therapy illegal earlier this year.
The dangerous and worldwide condemned practice was the subject of a petition that received almost 33,000 signatures.
The Department of Health had claimed they had ‘already taken the necessary steps to prevent the practice of gay conversion therapy in the UK’.
However, without it being made illegal, it still exists.