The Church of England has voiced its support for the United Kingdom’s plan to ban “conversion therapy,” while other Christian groups have warned of the free speech implications of such restrictions.
On Tuesday, the U.K. government rolled out its 75-point LGBT Action Plan to better fight discrimination against the LGBT community and improve the lives of LGBT persons.
Among many other things, the plan would compel the government to “consider all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy.”
In a statement released Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Church of England praised the action plan, specifically singling out the call to ban conversion therapy.
“We warmly welcome the government commitment to eradicate gay conversion therapy in this country,” the statement reads.
The action plan comes as the Church of England pressed the government last year to outlaw conversion therapy and after ministers met with Church Estates Commissioner Dame Caroline Spelman about the issue.
Last summer, the Church of England Synod approved a motion condemning conversion therapy, saying it has “no place in the modern world.”
Other Christian groups, however, have voiced their concerns about the plan, saying that it could end up preventing people with unwanted same-sex attractions from receiving the therapy and counseling they desire.
The LGBT Action Plan coincides with the release of an extensive 108,000-person National LGBT Survey conducted by the U.K. government which found that 2 percent of same-sex attracted people surveyed received some form of “conversion or reparative therapy in an attempt to ‘cure’ them of being LGBT.” Five percent said they had been offered such therapy.
“Restricting therapy would violate freedom of speech of both clients and therapists, as well as third parties such as supervisors of therapists,” the U.K.-based group Christian Concern argued in a statement. “A situation would arise whereby a state had prohibited free speech on human sexuality, behavior and feelings in private and confidential conversations as well as public settings, essentially because LGBT activists consider the words that might be said to be offensive.”
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Source: Christian Post