A Co Down man has hit out at a London cinema after it cancelled a private screening of a film he produced about people “leaving” homosexuality.
A private screening of Voices Of The Silenced was due to be shown at Vue Piccadilly in central London on Thursday.
However, the cinema cancelled the screening on Wednesday, saying the film was in direct contradiction to Vue’s values.
The film, being released by the Core Issues Trust, features 15 individuals from eight different countries “coming out of homosexuality”.
Core Issues Trust is a Christian Group which says it offers “therapeutic support for those with unwanted homosexual feelings".
LGBT charity Stonewall described the practice as "unethical and degrading".
Mike Davidson, chief executive of Core Issues Trust, told the Belfast Telegraph he had instructed lawyers to see if the screening could go ahead at Vue Piccadilly but that the screening will now go ahead at a different venue.
“We complied with the cinema’s requirements, which is to have the material with them within a certain time frame,” he said.
“We had it all with them by January 22 but the cinema made its announcement on Wednesday at around 10am.
"This was the day after an article appeared by Pink News. I believe it is a bit disingenuous to say it was because of the cinema’s own values. I think it is much more likely because of the pressure that they fear would come upon them because of protests.”
Mr Davidson added: “There is a commonly held view that you are born gay, which we would not hold. There is a great deal of misunderstanding on this issue and that is why we have done this film to try and put the record straight, from our point of view.
“We would hold a traditional Christian point of view. Clients I work with would come from all faiths and no faith backgrounds. The common thing is that they are all unhappy being in this condition. We don’t make judgements about anyone, we don’t hit people over the head with our particular version of reality. We work with them with what they present.”
A spokesman for Vue Cinema said: "Management received notification that a private screening request by Core Issues Trust and Christian Concern would be promoting and campaigning for a medical ‘cure’ to homosexuality. After careful consideration of the facts a decision was made to cancel the event.
"The decision to cancel was made on Tuesday 6th February 2018 independently of, and in isolation from, any external influence including any media, social media or petition. We are aware of subsequent online petitions for and against the event however we would like to reiterate that the decision to cancel the event was made entirely independently of any external influence.
"Please be assured that at Vue we take pride in providing an inclusive entertainment environment and our doors are open to everyone, irrespective of their political, religious, cultural or racial background and irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We will therefore always consider, and be sensitive to, our customers when we are asked to promote or indirectly endorse, or act as host for, one particular cause, campaign or belief. "
A spokesman for Stonewall said: "LGBT people aren't ill. Being gay, lesbian, bi or trans is not something that should be 'cured' or changed.
"This unethical and degrading practice has been condemned by all major UK health organisations. It's shocking that Vue Piccadilly initially viewed this as a suitable film to screen."