A leading voice in the LGBTQ+ community has called for the removal of a former DUP minister from the Education Authority board.
It came after Nelson McCausland shared the story of Becket Cook on Facebook.
In his article Mr Cook claims to have been a gay man in Hollywood working in the fashion industry until he “met Jesus”.
Mr McCausland wrote: “A powerful testimony of a life changed by God and some important insights into the whole ‘gay movement’ from someone who has been there.”
Following criticism, Mr McCausland denied his post had supported so-called gay conversion therapy.
Alliance councillor Eoin Tennyson, who is gay, said Mr McCausland’s post was shared without “any regard for the devastating impact this ex-gay nonsense has on young LGBT+ people”.
“Being gay is not a disease, it can’t be cured,” he said.
“‘Gay conversion’ has been consistently discredited and denounced.
“It has absolutely no basis in scientific fact.
“It’s clear you’ve never been 11 years old, crying yourself to sleep at night praying to be ‘cured’ because you’ve internalised the nonsense.
“You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Meanwhile Conor Houston, who is a director for the LGBTQ+ group Shout Out, said he was “horrified by the deeply offensive” post.
He called for Mr McCausland’s removal from the Education Authority board.
“Compassion and education are the antidote to such ignorance,” said Mr Houston, who is also the chair of Belfast’s Fleming Fulton special school.
Speaking last night, Mr McCausland denied that the article he posted was related to gay conversion therapy.
“Councillor Tennyson must have misread or misunderstood the article that I posted as it was not about ‘gay conversion therapy’,” the former North Belfast MLA and ex-Social Development Minister said.
“It was a testimony from The Gospel Coalition website and was in the form of an interview about the life-transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“The person interviewed had not undergone any therapy.”