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Gay ‘cure’ therapy is harmful says UK government

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  1. Good to see govt interest in this issue. Much tighter safeguards are required to ensure that vigilante psychotherapists do not seek to make an easy buck by attempting to ‘cure’ impressionable LGBTs who have come under the influence of bigot organisations like the so-called ‘Christian Concern’.

    1. Tom Stephens 15 Nov 2012, 1:15pm

      I completely agree. We need to frame this in terms of regulation of psychotherapy – something Labour planned in 2007 but which the current government have no plans to sort out. So long as psychotherapists are allowed to practice in this sector legally without having to be part of a professional body (where if they carry out conversion therapy they can be struck off), then conversion therapy will continue to happen in Britain.

      This is the problem with this story. All the government have done is “NOT CONDONE” conversion therapy. What are they going to do, in terms of regulation, to stop it everyone? See my blog post here to find out: And please join our campaign against this heinous practice!

    2. Muslimwithssa 28 Nov 2012, 12:42am

      Yes I’m so glad the government is finally stepping up and looking out for the health of the people. Lets hope they also ban alcohol and gambling and cigarettes too as well as gay reparative therapy. We all need fewer freedoms of choice in how we conduct our personal lives. Maybe the government should also help transgendered people come to accept their natural gender instead of supporting them achieving their chosen identity.
      I am of course being completely sarcastic.

  2. Of course it is damaging. I’m no doctor and even I can see that for myself. After all, there is nothing to be ‘cured’ from!

  3. I am very glad that the government has made a clear statement on this issue – about time too!

  4. Cardinal Capone 13 Nov 2012, 2:13pm

    Since it has long been shown to be harmful, the use of it is a form of psychological assault and abuse by those in a position of trust. I don’t know if it can be construed as a criminal offence from existing legislation, but those who get struck off for such abuse should perhaps face criminal sanctions.

  5. Lynda Yilmaz 13 Nov 2012, 2:14pm

    Happy to see not just the governmental interest in this issue, but this is an implied declaration of ‘this doesn’t work, there’s nothing to be cured’ This is an important message to the religious communities still insisting homosexuality is a disease to be cured. Not many ‘bravos’ for this current government, but this deserves one – Bravo!

    1. And it was a LibDem who said it!

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Nov 2012, 2:44pm

    Well done, sir. Praying away and curing the gay in people should be banned in the UK.

    What needs to be addressed is the addiction of religious mania and cures found for the likes of Anne Widdecombe, stupid cow.

    1. Is Ann Widdecombe claiming it worked for her? Otherwise how does she presume, as a completely unqualified person, to voice an opinion on the subject? Unfortunately she is a person too ready with an opinion on just about anything.

      1. Yeah, putting it politely, Ms Widdecombe is rather well endowed with her own hubris and for my money a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

    2. barriejohn 13 Nov 2012, 7:35pm

      Only the MailOnline seems to be carrying this story, so I have no idea of its reliability:

    3. barriejohn 13 Nov 2012, 7:40pm

      Don’t forget that George Carey also supports this dangerous practice:

      1. Yeah, but who today actually cares about George Carey?
        His successor is about to be replaced by a successor. George Carey is fading into even greater depths of obscurity.

  7. These quacks are liars often getting hefty donations and sometimes sexual abusers.
    There need to be more prosecutions for obtaining money under false pretences and sexual assault.

  8.’s astonishing to know the amount of people who think you can convert anyone Gay into a straight person. I do not think that I have heard of anything so absurd. The human race is not reasonable enough or balance in learning about the past. I feel this human race is a worthless and stupid form of animal and shall die out.

  9. Tom Stephens 13 Nov 2012, 7:05pm

    It is of course heartening that the government’s taken a position on this, but let’s not forget that that wouldn’t have happened had Diana Johnson, my local MP, took the initiative and tabled a question in the first place.

    I am involved in the local Hull and East Riding Labour LGBT+ Network, which so happens to be based based in her constituency. and we’ve recently started a campaign to end conversion therapy in the UK. Diana is due for much praise for going that extra mile and tabling a question (we didn’t ask her to, though the dilligence of one of our members (not me!) in really bringing this issue to her attention is due for much praise).

    However, there is more to this: Diana has already agreed to present a paper petition to the House of Commons we’ve prepared against conversion therapy. If like us you feel the whole practice is just sickening, please take the opportunity to print a sheet off from our website and post it back to the return address:

    1. This is great – good to see something so practical being done at last. Could something a bit more electronic be arranged with the petition though?

      1. Tom Stephens 13 Nov 2012, 9:07pm

        Thanks for your interest. I’m very sorry but no. Basically you can’t do online/paper hybrids for petitions to the HoC. We opted for a paper petition because formally presenting it DOES have a good practical impact (people see it!) which you don’t get with a HoC e-petition unless you get over 100,000 signatures. We already have over 1000 signatures and are aiming to get MPs to support Early Day Motions, Private Members’ Bills, e.t.c on this too. If you want to be of any help or want further info, just email me at

        By the way, I personally don’t think we should exaggerate the government’s stance here. For more info see the blog post on our website at

        P.S. be aware the website’s still under development so apologies in advance for the emptiness!

        1. Tom Stephens 13 Nov 2012, 9:37pm

          P.S. For more info please see my article on the website at

          There’s also a section giving information on conversion therapy in the UK available at

    2. Tom, you are bloody brilliant. Well done!

  10. barriejohn 13 Nov 2012, 7:46pm

    This is great news, especially to those of us who grew up in an age when homosexual behaviour was actually illegal, and aversion therapy was common. I tend to be cynical of most of what I see and hear, but things have moved with amazing rapidity both here and in the USA over the past few years. Who would have thought that an American presidential candidate would have come out in favour of equal marriage and actually been voted into office? Amazing!

  11. Jan Bridget 13 Nov 2012, 10:14pm

    For the mental health service to be able to respond appropriately to LGBT people they need to have the training. Government needs to go further than simply making statements. There is an opportunity with the new Suicide Prevention Strategy to ensure mental health services meet our needs.

    1. Dominic Davies 14 Nov 2012, 3:56pm

      Pink Therapy has been providing training in this area for well over a decade and has trained many hundreds of therapists to how to work in non-pathologising ways with LGBT people. One fact which is often neglected in these debates is that mental health is often much poorer for bisexuals and trans people than lesbians and gays.

  12. There’s some interesting research done about this appalling aspect of British medical practice. Professor Michael King from UCL did quite a lot in the early noughties with funding from the Wellcome Trust (here is something about it: There is also the Treatmentshomosexuality website ( but I’m not sure if that is being maintained any more. It is still useful.

    This research, however, is only the tip of the iceberg. Much more needs to be done to discover the historical roots and extent of the practice in Britain, not just as it has been applied to homosexuality but also transsexuality and transvestism. The relations between medical ‘treatments’ that were used by the NHS in post-war Britain and the continued use of medical and pseudo-medical techniques and rhetoric by freaky religious groups and political extremists has never been researched.

    1. Tom Stephens 15 Nov 2012, 1:09pm

      These links are actually really helpful and I hadn’t heard of these groups before – thanks!

      I’d agree that this is just the tip of the iceberg. When petitioning for our campaign against conversion therapy, most people thought gay conversion was just something that happened in America. It really, really isn’t and as Patrick Strudwick’s research in the Independent revealed, some of these therapists are getting patients from NHS GPs, and even funding too.

      The obvious follow-up questions for the government to be asked in Parliament are:

      (1) What does the government think about these gay cure groups getting patients and funding from the NHS – has Strudwick’s suggestion at all led to any inquiry into this practice of any kind?
      (2) Very well done HM Govt: you seem to disagree with conversion therapy, so what are you actually going to do about it?

      Again please check out our website at and see my blog post on Diana Johnson’s success.

  13. This is stupid. If your gay, your gay! Nothing can be changed about that and it certainly cannot be cured. Bloody stupid.

    1. Muslimwithssa 28 Nov 2012, 12:38am

      Would you say that to a transgendered person?

  14. Can you imagine the national outrage and press coverage if an organisation was to be set up to offer to change a person from being a hetrosexual to a homosexual? This is so dangerous it should be TOTALLY outlawed. California has recently change its laws to state that its can no longer be offered to anyone under 18 years! Well my thinking is that if it’s bad for the under 18 year olds then it’s bad for everyone! BAN IT ALL!

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