The British Medical Association has passed a motion asking the NHS to halt any funding for “ex-gay” “conversion therapy” programs. [pardon my having to use the “scare quotes”] It has already been deemed harmful by the BMA, and in the U.S. by the APA and other peer organizations, yet this dangerous fraud is still allowed to continue under the guise of “religious freedom”. Not only is it damaging, but there have been several cases worldwide of sexual abuse perpetrated on the client by these so-called counselors and therapists, most of whom have been booted from professional organizations, if they had any real credentials at all.
The NHS should not fund “discredited” conversion therapy for homosexual people, representatives at the BMA conference have voted.
The BMA has called on the Department of Health to investigate cases where it seems that conversion therapy has been funded with NHS money to prevent it happening in future.
Conversion therapy is treatment directed at helping gay and lesbian people modify their sexual orientation to heterosexuality.
Speaking for the motion, junior doctor, Tom Dolphin said, “This isn’t about therapy designed to help reconcile people to their sexuality, which is laudable and appropriate. I’m talking about therapy aimed at changing that sexual orientation.
“Conversion therapy does not work, and can be actively harmful. Sexual orientation is such a fundamental part of who someone is that to attempt to change it will just result in significant conflict and depression, and even sometimes suicide.”
“You can’t just wish away same-sex attraction no matter how inconvenient it might be.”
Earlier this year, gay journalist Patrick Strudwick published an expose of ‘ex-gay’ therapists and began a campaign group to persuade medical bodies to condemn the treatments.
He went undercover for the article, telling two therapists he was struggling to cope with attraction to men and wanted to be straight.
One therapist, named only as Linda, tried to convince him he must have been sexually abused as a child by a member of his family.
The other, who PinkNews.co.uk later revealed was homophobic former Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson’s advisor, tried to make Mr Strudwick sexually aroused during his therapy.
Mr Strudwick told the Independent that the BMA’s declaration was a “watershed moment in the struggle for gay equality”.
Let’s hope this resonates over here without the religious wingnuts’ brains exploding.