PM shocked that inhumane practice still widespread
The controversial procedures are based on the now discredited theory that homosexuality can be ‘cured’ with aversion therapy and other similar approaches. Aversion therapy seeks to train the body to respond in different ways to sexualised images, often through the application of electric shocks. So, a gay man will receive an electric shock when shown an image of a naked man, but will receive no shock when pictures of nude women are shown.
Other therapies involve religious exorcisms to drive out ‘evil spirits’, although it should be noted that in 2017 the General Synod of the Church of England called on the British Government to ban all such therapies.
A Downing Street source told OutNews Global that Prime Minister Theresa May was taken aback by the statistics which demonstrate how commonplace these practices remain, and has personally intervened to ensure that a ban is included into the Government’s more wide ranging LGBT Action Plan.
In 2015, the NHS and several private medical groups signed a Memorandum of Understanding that gay conversion therapy is potentially harmful and unethical, and in 2017, as reported in OutNews Global, the Royal College of Psychiatrists issued an apology for their use of electrocution in gay ‘conversion’ therapies.
Speaking today to ITV News, former DIVA columnist Vicky Beeching explained how her faith had driven her to seek a gay cure at the age of 14, first by a confession to a Catholic priest and then via an exorcism to drive out the ‘demons of homosexuality’ in front of 4,000 worshippers.
Beeching went on to explain how, throughout her twenties, the conflict between her Christian faith and her sexuality caused her to be hospitalised with stress and a highly debilitating auto-immune disease. “It broke me,” she explained. “It just broke me.”
OutNews Global has spoken exclusively to Jeremy Gavins, author of the memoir ‘Is it about that boy, the shocking trauma of aversion therapy.’ He told us,”When I was given aversion therapy, part of the treatment was to make me anxious about being gay. I was brainwashed into believing I was an evil, sinful, disgusting boy, everyone would hate me if they found out and I learnt to hate myself. This is the sort of conversion therapy that is used nowadays, in the past it was more physical.
“It truly was torture for me to lie down naked on a bed, told to think about my boyfriend, then given electric shocks just to satisfy the devout Christian doctor that he was doing it to save my soul.
“Last year, after I had received the acknowledgement from the RCP [Royal College of Psychiatrists], I thought my story might help in getting the use of conversion therapy banned completely. The fact that the Government have now said they are now going to make it illegal to recommend this therapy is good. About time. I hope the legislation includes the banning of churches from carrying it out too.”