Christian groups have launched adverts advocating ‘gay cure’ therapy on London buses in response to Stonewall’s ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’ campaign.
Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues Trust have launched ‘Not gay! Post-gay and proud. Get over it.’ advertisements which will run for two weeks from the 16th April.
They believe that Stonewall’s assertion that some people are ‘born gay’ is misleading, and accuse them of trying to close down critical debate about being gay.
Archbishop Cranmer reports on his blog that these Christian groups also warn that the promotion of homosexual practices to children and young people, many of whom experience ambivalence as they begin to form their sexual identity, is misleading and dangerous.
Although both Anglican Mainstream and Core Issues Trust recognise the rights of individuals to identify as gay, they believe that individuals such as married men and women unhappy with their same-sex desires should be exposed to research which says that sexuality is fluid and that there is no ‘gay gene’. People in this situation should also be supported in trying to turn straight if this is what they desire, they argue.
Dr Mike Davidson, Director of Core Issues Trust, said of Stonewall’s campaign: “Their campaign rides roughshod over individuals who by conscience reject the simplistic notion that their choice to move out of homosexuality is because of internalised prejudice taught by society, completely ignoring the profound effect on sexual identity, established by highly-respected scientific study, of childhood experience.”
Archbishop Cramer expects a capital-wide boycott of London’s buses. However he said he hopes this would not happen as “these plucky Christians are merely doing what the Prime Minister exhorted them to do: “fight back ”.
The former Europe minister and gay ex-vicar, Chris Bryant MP, told the Guardian that the advert was cruel, particularly to teenagers struggling to come to terms with their sexuality, for promoting the idea that you could become “ex-gay”.
He said: “The emotional damage that is done to the individuals who try to suppress their sexuality, the women they marry and the children they might have is immeasurable,” he said. “Most sane Christians believe that homosexuality is not a lifestyle or a choice but is a fact to be discovered or not. The pretence that homosexuality is something you can be weaned off in some way is a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of creation.”
Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of Stonewall, told the newspaper that the adverts were clearly homophobic and added: “The only reason some gay people might want to stop being gay is because of the prejudice of the people who are publishing the ad.
“The promotion of this voodoo therapy is hugely irresponsible given the damage that it appears to do to some people.”