On Saturday 18th January 2014, the Ballynahinch Baptist Church hosted the ‘Setting Love In Order’ conference organised by the Core Issues Trust. The Trust was arguing for ‘freedom for gay people to approach psychiatrists and counsellors about their homosexuality’; this was a thinly disguised message about converting gays, or in other words ‘conversion therapy’.
One of the discussions was entitled: Don’t want to be gay any more? Sorry we’re not allowed to help you! Is that ethical?’ This is a thinly disguised approach to gay conversion therapy, which Robert Spizer in 2001 was promoting, Spitzer renounced and retracted his own study in 2012, stating “I was quite wrong in the conclusions that I made from this study. The study does not provide evidence, really, that gays can change. And that’s quite an admission on my part.”. He also apologized to the gay community for making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy, calling it his only professional regret. Spitzer has requested that all “ex-gay” therapy organizations such as NARTH, PFOX, American College of Pediatricians, and Focus on the Family stop citing his study as evidence for conversion therapy.
Pro-gay protestors outside the church were there to give the message that therapy has been discredited, it doesn’t work. And also to give out a positive message that being LGBT is not wrong, it is not bad, and it is not broken so it doesn’t need ‘fixed’.