Monday, January 13, 2014

Legalising ideology?

The Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill 2013 - 14 comes up for its second reading in the House of Commons on January 24. It seeks to ban therapists from offering help to people who want to reduce unwanted homosexual feelings in their lives.

While it aims to forbid help being offered to people who do not want to be homosexuals, it allows help for people to become homosexuals. It will deny people the right to choose how to live their own lives. And it appears to be based on homosexuals' insistence that homosexuality is innate and unchangeable, like race. 

Opponents of the therapy say the motivation behind it is homophobic rather than scientific, and that practitioners are not acting in the best interests of the individual. They deny the many accounts of people who have been set free from homosexuality.

Dr Michael Davidson, co-director of Core Issues Trust, claims to have been turned away himself from homosexuality by counselling, prayer and psychotherapy. He writes: "The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) affirms that conversion or reparative therapies 'have no medical indication and represent a severe threat to the health and human rights of the affected persons.'

"The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) warns that 'There is overwhelming evidence that undergoing such therapy is at considerable emotional and psychological cost.'

"The Royal College of Psychiatrists says that therapy to change a client's sexual orientation can be 'deeply damaging'. . . 

"The UKCP claims that there is 'overwhelming evidence [of] considerable emotional and psychological cost' associated with such therapies. Its former chair, Prof Andrew Samuels, however, declined to respond to a request as to where this evidence was to be found. 

"Chief Executive, Mr David Pink, affirmed to us that this question was 'adequately addressed in the drawing up of our guidance,' yet the organisation has offered no such evidence at all. 

"Dr Di Hodgson, Chair of the UKCP's Diversity, Equalities and Social Responsibility Committee, has honestly acknowledged: 'I think there is very conflicting evidence. . . So we have taken a view in a way which is regardless of the scientific findings. We still believe that it is unethical to seek to agree or to work towards changing someone's sexual orientation through psychotherapy.'

"The UKCP says first that there is 'overwhelming evidence;' then declined to specify any evidence; then says there is 'conflicting evidence;' and then that they have taken a position that doesn't require any evidence. This should concern any thinking person."

Says the Rev Andrew Symes, executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream: "For centuries in this country it has been accepted that the promotion of the Christian faith so that people are converted to Christ is a good thing. It results in positive change, whereby people generally become more considerate and productive members of society. 

"It has also been generally agreed that stable, loving, heterosexual marriage is a foundational cornerstone for a stable society, and that this necessarily involves encouraging people to overcome natural tendencies to promiscuity, adultery and homosexual practice. 

"Only recently, in the last few years, have these axioms been challenged. Christian conversion has been attacked as 'brainwashing,' or as disruptive to community cohesion especially in multi-faith contexts. And Christian teaching about the sinfulness of sex outside of covenant heterosexual marriage has now been accused of harming the integrity and self-esteem of gay people."

You are asked to contact your MP to  ask him or her to vote against the bill.

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