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Humanists call for ban on anti-gay pseudoscience

Humanists UK has responded to premiere of a new film promoting so-called ‘conversion therapy’ by repeating calls on ministers to ban the harmful, pseudo-scientific practice throughout the UK.

The Core Issues Trust, a Christian non-profit which offers ‘change oriented therapy’ to gay and bisexual people in the UK, directed at helping them ‘come out of homosexual practices and feelings’, is hosting a premiere event for Voices of the Silenced in Piccadilly Circus on Thursday 8 February. In a press release promoting the film from Christian Concern and the Core Issues Trust, it is described as being inspired by ‘renewed calls for banning therapies in some western nations’ and depicting stories of people ‘coming out of homosexuality’. The same press release says the film sets out to examine ‘the re-emergence of pansexual humanist values in the modern era.’

Former UK Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan MP, herself a devout Christian, previously called for a ban on ‘conversion therapy’ at the Pink News Awards in 2015, but the Government has yet to act. Former Prime Minister David Cameron has also spoken in favour of a ban. Humanists UK has called on the current Government to make good on Ms Morgan’s earlier remarks.

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.

Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson commented,

‘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with their sexuality deserve support to live confident, authentic lives without being made to feel shame from outdated religious views about sin and sexuality.’

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson on richy@humanism.org.uk or 0781 55 89 636.

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

Humanists UK recently changed its name from the British Humanist Association: https://humanism.org.uk/2017/05/22/bha-becomes-humanists-uk/

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