The Church of England Synod has issued a call for the government to ban the practice of conversion therapy aiming to change sexual orientation.
The church's call to action came after hearing experiences of ‘spiritual abuse’ in emotional debate, reports Religion correspondent Harriet Sherwood. The church’s governing body overwhelmingly backed a motion saying conversion therapy had ‘no place in the modern world’. The church has called on the government to ban conversion therapy and has condemned the practice, which aims to change sexual orientation, as unethical and potentially harmful.
Conversion therapy is usually described as an attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Some churches in the C of E and other denominations have encouraged LGBT members to take part in prayer sessions and other activities to rid them of their “sin”. One survey of the LGBT community indicates just under 40% of 553 respondents said they had undergone some form of conversion therapy.
More than two-thirds said they had chosen to do so because they believed their sexual orientation to be “sinful”. Just under three-quarters were under the age of 20 when they began conversion therapy.