Activists in Canada have won a major victory against an ex-gay movement with the removal of an advert from a major television channel that promoted the course aimed at changing the sexual orientation of gay people.

The ad, aired on the Canadian TV channel CTV, featured a man talking about how a lot of gay people actually don’t want to be gay and that it’s possible to change.

“You hear a lot about gay rights, gay marriage and the gay lifestyle being taught in our public schools for children, but what many people don’t realise, and seldom hear, is that many homosexuals don’t want to be homosexual.

“What many who are struggling with homosexuality don’t realise is that they can change. I should know – for 13 years, I used to be one.”

LGBT activists in Canada launched an online campaign for the removal of the advert, utilising social networking sites such as myspace and Facebook.

In response CTV removed the ad straight away and has since apologised to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans community.

A spokesperson for the channel said:

“It was something that was taken very seriously at the highest levels of CTV. It is completely against all of our own codes.”

Ex-gay movements believe that through prayer and therapy the alteration of a person’s sexual orientation is possible.

This position is consistently rejected by all US leading mental health professional groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Pediatric Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.

Many people who go through the process end up not as functioning heterosexuals but as homosexuals pushed into mental breakdowns and/or other mental health problems.

Some have taken to suicide in an attempt to end the confusion caused

by the ex-gay programmes.