Two states in the US have banned “conversion therapy” being practised on minors.

Nine American former leaders of “ex-gay” ministries have denounced-the dangerous practice of attempting to “cure” gay people through so called “conversion therapy”.

In a joint letter issued on Thursday, the one-time promoters of the discredited practice expressed their support for the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ #BornPerfect campaign to end conversion therapy in five years.

The former “pray the gay away” leaders revealed their own struggles with being LGBT and what led them to propagate these anti-gay ministries.

“We once believed that there was something morally wrong and psychologically ‘broken’ about being LGBT. We know better now,” they said in the letter.

“Together we represent more than half a century of experience, so few people are more knowledgeable about the ineffectiveness and harm of conversion therapy.”

They stated that, “As former ex-gay leaders, having witnessed the incredible harm done to those who attempted to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, we join together in calling for a ban on conversion therapy.

“It is our firm belief that it is much more productive to support, counsel, and mentor LGBT individuals to embrace who they are in order to live happy, well-adjusted lives.”

They added: “We admonish parents to love and accept your LGBT children as they are. We beseech the church to accept, embrace, and affirm LGBT persons with full equality and inclusion.”

Two states in the US, California and New Jersey, have now banned conversion therapy among anyone under the age of 18. Major medical and mental health organisations around the world have denounced efforts to change sexual orientation or gender expression as ineffective and harmful.

The letter was signed by: Brad Allen, former church network coordinator for Exodus International; Darlene Bogle, founder and former director of Paraklete Ministries; Michael Bussee, co-founder of Exodus International; Catherine Chapman, former Women’s Ministry director for the Portland Fellowship; Jeremy Marks, founder of Courage UK and Exodus Europe; Bill Prickett, founder and former executive director of Coming Back; Tim Rymel, former outreach director of Love in Action; Yvette Cantu Schneider, former executive director of Living in Victory Ministry and director of women’s ministry for Exodus International; and John J. Smid, former executive director of Love In Action and board member for Exodus International.

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