Belfast church protest by LGBT group against ‘conversion therapy’

John O'Doherty of the Rainbow Project
John O'Doherty of the Rainbow Project
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LGBT group the Rainbow Project has organised a protest at a south Belfast church on Saturday morning against what they have labelled “conversion therapy”.

Windsor Baptist has advertised the event as a True Freedom Trust Conference, however, Rainbow Project director John O’Doherty, said: “We will always stand against conversion therapy in whatever guise it presents itself”.

Mr 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 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’”.

He added: “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, to join us on Saturday morning in demanding an end to these practices which leave nothing but pain and despair in their wake.”

According to the True Freedom Trust’s website, its mission is: “To teach and encourage individuals, their families and friends as they deal with issues around same-sex attractions and gender identity, working in partnership with Christian leaders and local churches to promote a biblical pattern for gender and sexual relationships.”

The Trust states its vision to be: “To see the Church uphold traditional biblical teaching on sexual relationships and gender with understanding and compassion, so that Christians who struggle with same-sex attractions or gender identity gain increasing acceptance, wholeness and maturity in faith within their local church.”