Belfast Telegraph

Gay group pickets controversial conference

By Victoria O’Hara

A controversial conference promoting a therapy that claims to help people “turn away” from homosexuality has been picketed by Northern Ireland’s largest gay association.



Around 60 people representing gay rights groups and trade unions protested at the one-day conference organised by the Core Issues Trust group at a Church of Ireland venue in south Belfast yesterday.

Around 20 people attended the conference at Belvoir Church. Core Issues is a Northern Ireland-based group which, according to its website, is a non-profit Christian initiative “seeking to support men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression”.

The keynote speaker was American David Pickup who promotes “reparative therapy” and claims he can encourage homosexual people to practise heterosexuality.

\[Steven Holland\] of\[Steven Holland\]'s edition</> it was stated that the Church of Ireland had defended a decision to allow a controversial gay conversion conference to take place in one of its buildings. A Church of Ireland spokesman has asked us to point out that the statement in the story was issued on behalf of the individual church where the event took place, and not on behalf of the Church of Ireland.

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