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Conversion Therapy

The Church of England's General Synod has joined the campaign to ban conversion (reparative) therapy.

Conversion Therapy

It's pleasing to see that the Church's national assembly voted in July by a large majority to endorse the Memorandum of Understanding signed by bodies such as the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists), UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) and other mental health and LGBTI+ organisations.

The motion condemns conversion therapy as unethical, potentially harmful and 'having no place in the modern world' and urges the Church to 'be sensitive to, and to listen to, contemporary expressions of gender identity'.

Conversion therapy refers to the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation using psychological or spiritual interventions. There is virtually no reliable evidence that a person's sexuality can be controlled or altered and medical bodies warn against conversion therapy practices, citing them as ineffective and seriously harmful.

With a recent report finding that attempted suicide is twice as common among LGBT people, it makes the Church of England's decision to endorse the Memorandum of Understanding a timely step in the right direction.

Religion can, and does, bring many positives into millions of lives on a daily basis. It can also be wielded as a weapon with potentially horrifying consequences, as is the case with so called conversion therapy. Let's hope this move by the Church of England marks the start of the end of this cruel and barbaric process.