Conversion therapy advocates sue Barclays bank for ‘violation of human rights’ after it closed down their accounts
Core Issues Trust, a Northern Irish organisation that advocates conversion therapy, has claimed that Barclays violated its human rights by closing its bank accounts.
The organisation, the most vocal proponent of the traumatising and pseudoscientific practice in the UK, had its Barclays bank accounts shut down in July.
Barclays did not give a reason for the closure, but founder Mike Davidson claimed it was the result of a “coordinated campaign” from LGBT+ activists.
Now, Core Issues Trust has announced that it is suing Barclays for shutting down its bank accounts, via the Mail on Sunday.
The organisation said it will launch legal proceedings in a Northern Ireland court and will argue that the bank violated its human rights when it shut down the accounts. Core Issues Trust will reportedly seek thousands of pounds in compensation from Barclays bank.
In a statement released to the Mail on Sunday, Barclays said: “Our terms and conditions – like other banks – allow unto end a relationship with any customer, provided we give two months’ notice.”
Core Issues Trust says it doesn’t practice conversion therapy – it just offers ‘support’ to people with ‘homosexual issues’.
Core Issues Trust claims that it does not offer conversion therapy itself – but the organisation’s website claims that it offers “support” to people with “homosexual issues” who want to change their sexual orientation.
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For months, Barclays was pressured to sever ties with the group, and in July Mike Davidson said Barclays had informed him in a letter that its accounts would be shut down in mid-September.
The Christian Legal Centre, an offshoot of anti-LGBT+ lobby group Christian Concern, said at the time that it would be supporting Davidson and his conversion therapy organisation.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said: “We call on the government to put a halt to this kind of mob rule and to assert the rights of Biblically-faithful Christian organisations to be serviced by businesses without facing such intolerant discrimination.”
A petition was later launched on the conservative website CitizenGo calling on Barclays to reinstate the organisation’s accounts.
The petition, which racked up almost 70,000 signatures, praised Core Issues Trust for not using horrific practices such as electroshock therapy and “corrective rape” in its efforts to change LGBT+ people’s identities.
“Nonetheless they are being accused of ‘conversion therapy’ simply because they help individuals on a one-to-one basis, who wish to explore the concept of sexual attraction fluidity,” the petition claimed.