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Sham debate seeks ban on therapy for unwanted same sex attraction

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MPs have held a debate in Westminster Hall in an effort to increase pressure on the government to ban therapy which helps reduce feelings of unwanted same sex attraction.

Change therapy is a means of reducing feelings of same sex attraction for individuals who seek change in their sexual preference and expression.

Despite evidence that the therapy can help reduce unwanted feelings of same sex attraction, it was variously described as “voodoo”, “abhorrent” and a “real and present danger” during the debate.

No evidence

All MPs who spoke during the debate condemned the practice, even though no evidence was cited which shows the supposed harm that the therapy causes.

The debate was notable for its lack of dissenting opinion and comes at a time when there is an early day motion and a private members bill which both ultimately seek a ban on the therapy.

Labour MP Sandra Osborne is the primary sponsor of the EDM and the organiser of the Westminster Hall debate.

Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West, is the author of the private members bill, set to have its second reading on 24 January 2014.

Health minister Norman Lamb issued an official government response in the debate, saying that he agreed with all that had been said and that he believed the practice of reparative therapy to be “absolutely abhorrent”.

The minister added that the government is “not ruling out regulations forever” although it would not be issuing any at the present time. Mr Lamb said the government would continue to monitor the situation.  


Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, commented:

“This ‘debate’ was marked by unfounded, hyperbolic and scaremongering comments from MPs. It was completely one-sided without any proper discussion based on the evidence.

“The large number of referrals to counsellors who practice this kind of therapy was mentioned. Could this be because health professionals actually understand the therapy to be beneficial, contrary to what MPs driven by ideological agendas think?

“Until the other side of the debate has been heard, this hollow attempt in Westminster to ban reparative therapy needs to be exposed for what it is.”

Watch the full debate here (BBC) >