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Reverend Richard Coles calls for an end to conversion therapy

by Press Association
Rev Richard Coles Thumb.PNG - Banner image

The Reverend Richard Coles has called for an end to conversion therapy.

Speaking during an excerpt for BBC programme Morning Live, the broadcaster said the practice, which attempts to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, causes "untold misery".

Last month, the Government announced in the Queen's Speech that measures would be brought forward to ban conversion therapy.

Coles said he always took his own homosexuality as "a given that I had no choice over at all".

"I'm a priest of the Church of England and I'm also gay and for me that's never been a problem," he said.

"I have never felt there's any conflict at all between Christian faith and being LGBT.

"But some people do and indeed find that so unendurable that they seek, some would say therapy, intervention, call it what you will, to pray the gay away."

Discussing moves to ban conversion therapy, Coles said: "I have become convinced that this is probably the right thing to do, because at the heart of this is the problem, 'How do you fix something that hasn't gone wrong?'

"And if in doing that you actually harm someone, well then you can't bring that to an end soon enough."

Some Christians believe a ban could infringe on traditional religious teachings, such as the belief that all sex outside a heterosexual marriage is sinful.

Peter Lynas, UK Director of the Evangelical Alliance, fears it could also criminalise supportive prayer for someone who asked for help dealing with a same-sex attraction they wished to resist.

The Church of England however, says conversion therapy has "no place in the modern world".

The government has announced a consultation will be held in England and Wales before a change in the law.



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