The Anglican Mainstream Organisation’s conference promoting techniques on how to “cure” homosexuality in London has been met with protest from over a hundred angry people, reports UK Gay News.
Many protestors felt strongly about the fact that the “Gay Cure” therapy is still being practised by a minority of therapists in the UK. “It’s just as bad as racism,” said singer Jimmy Sommerville, who took part in Saturday’s demonstration.
“These therapists seem to have an unhealthy obsession with homosexuality,” said Andrew Hanuman, a counsellor. He believes that the demonstration will help raise public awareness, and bring attention to the fact that this therapy is being promoted by religious and “ex-gay” movements.
“In some small way, it even helps with the terrible situation in Uganda where the government is working with American therapists, who were recently in the country for a conference. In Uganda, gays have a choice – jail or therapy,” he pointed out.
Arthur Goldberg, one of the American speakers from the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) which promotes the “rehabilitation” of homosexuals, mingled for a short time with demonstrators. “We do not cure,” he insisted while talking with a group of demonstrators.
In a statement, the Royal College of Psychiatrists said it was concerned about the positions promoted by NARTH and the fact they are not supported by science. “There is no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed,” a spokesperson said.
“So-called treatments of homosexuality as recommended by NARTH create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.” The statement emphasised that gay and bisexual people should have the “right to protection from therapies that are potentially damaging, particularly those that purport to change sexual orientation.”
“LGBT people who are being persecuted around the world will want us to make sure that homosexuality is never regarded as a mental illness again,” Derek Lennard, the UK co-ordinator of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia said.