There are various forms of therapy which purport to change an individual’s sexual orientation, and some people pressure gay or bisexual friends into trying this therapy. In the words of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, attempting to change sexual orientation through therapy “can be deeply damaging” and “there is no evidence that such change is possible” (Royal College of Psychiatrists, Submission to the Church of England’s Listening Process on Sexuality). In 2013, Exodus International, an umbrella group for various “ex-gay” organisations closed, and the director apologised for the harm the organisation had done:

Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents.

I Am Sorry

Conversion therapy, by any name, does not work and is harmful. This opinion is shared by both secular authorities and a body that formerly promoted it. As it is harmful, it is fundamentally un-Christlike. No Christian, of any denomination, could support sending a loved one to such therapy.

Previous page: Appendix 1 When it all goes wrong

Andrew McFarland Campbell