A Vue cinema is to host a screening of a film advocating gay ‘cure’ therapy, PinkNews can reveal.
The Core Issues Trust, an evangelical Christian group which advocates for efforts to change sexual orientation, announced the screening of documentary ‘Voices of the Silenced: Experts, Evidences and Ideologies’.
The film’s creators claim it features 15 people who have “come out of homosexual practises” thanks to therapy or religion – and challenges the “myth… that people are born gay”.
But PinkNews can reveal that the screening is set to take place at the Vue Piccadilly Circus cinema in London on Thursday evening.
The group appears to have privately hired a cinema screen for the private event.
PinkNews has contacted Vue reps for comment but did not immediately get a response.
A release from the Core Issues Trust says: “Voices of the Silenced: Experts, Evidences and Ideologies, was filmed over two years in eight countries.
“It promotes the stories of fifteen individuals coming out of homosexual practices. With the support of a range of international and UK experts specialising in the care of this marginalised population group, Voices of the Silenced challenges the closedown on debate about the value of therapeutic support undertaken in ways that are respectful of client goals and individual rights to change.
“Exposing the largely unexamined role of sexual politics and the ideological basis of renewed calls for banning therapies in some western nations, the film examines the ancient ideologies of sexuality in the Greco-Roman world, the historical influence of sexual ethics from the Judeo-Christian world and the re-emergence of pansexual humanist values in the modern era.
“The film is released by Core Issues Trust, the UK’s only registered charity offering therapeutic support for those with unwanted homosexual feelings, in association with a range of like-minded groups from other parts of the world.
“It features almost 40 participants from English, German, Hungarian and Norwegian language groups. The English film will shortly be released for online download and in DVD format with closed or open subtitling in German, Slovakian, Russian, Polish, Italian, Mandarin, Korean, Hungarian, French, Spanish, Ukrainian, and Arabic.”
In response to the screening, Humanists UK called on ministers to ban gay ‘cure’ therapy in UK.
Many social media users have expressed outrage at the proposed screening.
Conversion therapy is already illegal in Switzerland, Taiwan, two Canadian provinces, nine US states, and the Australian state of Victoria. Malta became the first EU country to introduce a ban on conversion therapy in 2016.
However, in the UK the government has dismissed calls to explicitly ban the practise.
Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson said: “‘The association between so-called ‘conversion therapy’ and negative mental health outcomes for gay and bisexual people is strong.
“These are harmful religious ‘therapies’ rooted in homophobia, not science. The Government has a duty to end these harmful practices once and for all.
“Young people struggling with their sexuality deserve support to live confident, authentic lives without being made to feel shame due to outdated religious views about sin and sexuality.”
Medical bodies in the UK including the NHS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding disvowing all attempts to ‘change’ sexual orientation.
However, due the lack of a law regulating the practise it is still able to continue legally in the UK, practised primarily by fringe religious groups and unregulated quacks.
The therapy defies the consensus reached by medical, psychological and therapeutic organisations across the world.
Experts overwhelmingly agree that attempts to cure sexuality are futile, misguided, and often actually harmful.
Attempts to force teens to repress their sexuality has been linked to depression, self-harm and even suicide.
The UK’s former Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan, previously called for a ban on ‘conversion therapy’.
Speaking at the 2015 PinkNews Awards, she said: “Let me be clear: gay cure therapies have no place in our countries and we must stamp them out.”
But last month the Department of Health insisted “the Government does not believe creating a criminal offence is the right way forward”.