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LGBT Open Letter Support Conversion Therapy.png
LGBT Open Letter Support Conversion Therapy.png
World News

LGBT Christians write counter letter supporting conversion therapy ban in response to Christian leaders’ opposition

by Premier Journalist

Several LGBT Christian groups and clergy have signed a letter in support of the current legislation to ban conversion therapy.

It's in response to a previous letter signed by over 2,500 church leaders in the UK opposing the ban as they argued the current draft would criminalise the everyday work of churches.

But the letter sparked criticism and division within the Christian community.

Earlier this week, Bishop of Dorchester, Rt Rev Gavin Collins said he was "disappointed" authors had used an open letter to "diminish people who are in faithful same-sex relationships and those who are transgender".

Now, OneBodyOneFaith, Dignity and Worth, The Ozanne Foundation and other LGBT Christian organisations have come together to "challenge the harm that has been caused to many by the insensitive and ill-informed nature of the document."

In an open letter to Equalities Minister Liz Truss, the group rejects "the concept of one Christian view on human sexuality and gender identity, as well as one Christian view on conversion therapy" and share what they understand as conversion therapy.

"[Conversion therapy is]…an umbrella term for a therapeutic approach, or any model or individual viewpoint that demonstrates an assumption that any sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to any other, and which attempts to bring about a change of sexual orientation or gender identity or seeks to suppress an individual's expression of sexual orientation or gender identity on that basis."

They also argue that conversion therapy is "coercive and therefore informed consent is not possible", a sticking point for some Christian leaders opposing the ban as they believe it would criminalise pastors praying for someone with unwanted same-sex attraction.

The groups believe the ban should be explicit in distinguishing "between genuine choice" and "that which is coerced by virtue or culture, the interpretation of religious teachings, and context".

The letter concludes by saying: "We believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer peoples are made fully and beautifully in the image of God, and that their sexualities and gender identities can neither be cured nor changed – for this is how God has made them to be."

"We will continue to pursue a Church and a world that truly represents the love of God as expressed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Using #SupportTheBan, many clergy across the UK have shown their support, including TV vicar, Rev Kate Bottley.

Legislation banning conversion therapy is expected to be brought forward this year following a public consultation. 

You can read the letter in support of the ban here

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