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Christian counsellor targeted by homosexual activist

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On Thursday 20 January 2011, a Christian counsellor will be summoned before a Professional Conduct Panel for giving therapy to a homosexual man who pretended to be a Christian wishing to stop practising homosexuality.

Lesley Pilkington, a counsellor with over 20 years of experience, is defending herself against a formal complaint by Patrick Strudwick, a homosexual journalist who secretly recorded two therapy sessions with her by strapping a recording device under his clothing. Mr. Strudwick published an account of the sessions in The Independent and has since received the award of journalist of the year by the homosexual-rights organisation Stonewall.

The journalist met Lesley at a Christian conference and told Lesley that he wanted to leave his homosexual lifestyle and wanted help to change.  Lesley confirmed that she would be happy to meet with him but only within a Christian counselling context. Shortly after the conference, and still acting undercover, the journalist contacted Lesley and said that he thought they were on the same wavelength and asked to meet with her.

Throughout the two therapy sessions, Patrick repeatedly told Lesley that he wanted to leave his homosexual lifestyle, that it had become meaningless to him and that he wanted to change.  However, after the sessions, he lodged a complaint to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy alleging that Lesley had failed to respect the fixed nature of his homosexuality.

Those offering counselling for men and women wanting to change their homosexual behaviour have been increasingly targeted by the homosexual lobby, many of whom do not accept that people can change their behaviour. Since writing the article, Patrick has become a campaigner against those offering such treatments and has organised protests at various religious conventions. He has stated in interviews that no-one can change their sexual orientation and attempts to do so are extremely harmful.

However, in 2006, the homosexual rights activist Peter Tatchell wrote in the Guardian: ‘Much as I would love to go along with the fashionable "born gay" consensus (it would be very politically convenient), I can't. The evidence does not support the idea that sexuality is a fixed biological given.’

Lesley is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the CLC said:

“Lesley is a wonderful Christian counsellor who has practised for many years with an unblemished record. When a young man asked for help to change his behaviour, she was happy to give it. Rather than breaching his autonomy, Lesley provided exactly what was asked of her. It is shocking that she was targeted, lied to and misrepresented by this homosexual activist and even worse that her professional body consider her actions worthy of investigation.

“It seems that what the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy object to is Lesley Pilkington holding the professional and personal view that homosexuality is not a fixed orientation. Many people have come forward to say that they have stopped the practice of homosexuality and many well respected professionals also believe that ‘change is possible’, yet when this is the basis on which Lesley offered therapy, she is hauled before her professional body.

“We are standing by Lesley and believe that in a civilised society, therapy should remain freely available for those who wish to change their homosexual behaviour, without the fear of intimidation and threats by the homosexual lobby.

“There is a great misconception in our law that sexual orientation is fixed like race when in fact there is no clear evidence to suggest that it is. The testimonies of many ex-homosexuals suggests that sexual behaviour can change. When a therapist believes in good faith that a person can change his or her behaviour then they should be free to offer their expertise without the fear of the loss of their job or professional credentials.”

“The equalities and anti-discrimination agendas are undermining the freedom of individuals to choose to change their lifestyles. These laws are leading to the elimination of a fundamental human right.”

“The homosexual lobby wants to write out of the counselling process the idea of the possibility of change or the freedom to choose to change. This is not progress this is oppressive. At a time when society is seeking cohesion this only promotes tension.”

“Do we really want to live in a country where if we believe that homosexuals can change their practice we will be hounded from our jobs? This is not an isolated case and it is the time for the tide to turn.”

Media Links

Radio Five Live: Interview with Lesley Pilkington

LBC Radio: Interview with Lesley Pilkington


The Daily Mail

Christian Today

The Daily Telegraph