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LGBTI activists protest ‘conversion therapy’ event at Belfast church

LGBTI activists protest ‘conversion therapy’ event at Belfast church

Rainbow project protesting conversion therapy

LGBTI activists protested so-called gay conversion therapy at a south Belfast Church.

The Rainbow Project held up signs outside the Windsor Baptist Church in the Northern Irish capital this Saturday (6 April) morning. The protest coincided with an event allegedly promoting so-called conversion therapy.

The True Freedom Trust conference was held ‘for Christians who experience same-sex temptations’.

Director of the Rainbow Project, John O’Doherty, said: ‘Conversion therapy, reparative therapy and all other so-called sexual orientation change efforts are rightly condemned by reputable mental health, counselling and psychotherapy bodies around the world as unethical and harmful to the people who are subjected to these practices.

‘These practices are rooted in homophobia, transphobia, prejudice and stereotyping and are targeted at the most vulnerable members of our community. LGBT+ people, including LGBT+ people of faith, are not broken. We are not sick and we do not need to be ‘fixed’ by these quacks and charlatans.

‘The Rainbow Project will always stand against conversion therapy in whatever guise it presents itself and wherever it is being promoted and we call on LGBT+ people, our friends and allies to join us on Saturday morning in demanding an end to these practices which leave nothing but pain and despair in their wake.’

True Freedom Trust deny they promote conversion therapy

However, the Director of True Freedom Trust, Stuart Parker, denies the event is promoting conversion therapy. Instead, he claims the event is to ‘encourage people in their Christian walk’.

He told ITV: ‘I Think we’ve been misunderstood today because we’re not advocating, we’re not offering conversion therapy.

‘We make it quite in our policies and our website that we’re not promoting conversion therapy… we might encourage some people who are struggling with their mental health to get god quality counselling.’

Conversion therapy on minors is banned in several states across the US. Theresa May has stated it is one of the aims of her government to outlaw it in the United Kingdom.

See also: 

Spain’s health minister wants conversion therapy ‘completely abolished’

Puerto Rico’s governor issues executive order banning conversion therapy

Massachusetts Senate passes bill banning conversion therapy on minors