Ex-gay Mike Davidson of Core Issues Trust questions ‘real agenda’ behind gay conversion therapy bans as Stormont moves against ‘cruel practice’

A leading figure from the ‘Ex-gay community’ has challenged what he believes is the true goal of efforts to ban ‘conversion therapy’ in Northern Ireland.
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Mike Davidson of Core Issues, a charity which supports people who wish to change sexual orientation, was speaking after Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey warned than rushing legislation to outlaw ‘gay conversion therapy’ in NI may allow the practise to continue.

“I don’t want to leave any loophole in the legislation that this practice may continue and therefore the legislation would be meaningless,” Ms Hargey told MLAs last week.

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However Mr Davidson claimed there was a different agenda behind such legislative changes. He claims that “reparative therapy” helped him resolve “unwanted same sex attraction”.

Communities Minister Deirdre HargeyCommunities Minister Deirdre Hargey
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey

Responding to Ms Hargey, he said: “The rush to ban so called ‘Conversion Therapy’ in GB and in Northern Ireland appears to be a co-ordinated precursor for introducing the UN’s sustainable development aspirations.” The UN intends to criminalise any opposition to ‘Gender Theory’ through the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, he claims.

He argues that gender theory is “a dangerous social experiment with no regard for children’s lives and safety”. Gender theory holds, he says, that gender is fluid and may change but that sexuality is fixed can cannot change.

“But I would argue that sexuality is fluid while gender is not,” he added.

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Mr Davidson said The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice made a submission to the UN last week on this issue.

A DfC spokesperson said: “The Minister is on record stating that so called ‘conversion therapy’ is a cruel practice and it should be ended and banned as soon as possible. Ending conversion therapy will be taken forward through the development of the Executive’s LGBTQI+ Strategy”.

John Doherty, Director of the Rainbow project responded that all types of ‘conversion’ practises are now condemned by health professionals.

“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,” he said. “The UK Government, The UN General Assembly, and over 400 global religious leaders have all called for an end to this cruel, degrading and inhuman practice.”

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“The suggestion that the campaign to ban conversion therapy is somehow intolerant of people of faith, or those who struggle with sexual orientation or gender, is quite simply gas lighting. Conversion therapy at its core seeks to build shame among LGBTQ+ and to reinforce homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

“LGBT+ people, including LGBT+ people of faith, are not broken. We would also appeal to anyone who has been through conversion therapy to contact The Rainbow Project, where we have a range of support services available.”

LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell welcomed the commitment of the Communities Minister to bring forward draft legislation to ban the “unethical, ineffective and harmful practice of LGBT+ conversion therapy”.

He added: “There have already been too many delays. The recent legislation in the Australian state of Victoria provides a useful template that could be adapted by Northern Ireland. It is time to stop dithering and get this done.”

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“More than 7,500 people have signed Peter Tatchell’s recent www.StopDithering.com petition, backed by actor Stephen Fry, calling on the UK government to ban LGBT+ conversion therapy.”

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