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London cinema cancels 'gay cure' film - Christian group seeks legal advice

By Sally Wardle

A cinema has cancelled a screening of a film promoting therapies to "cure" gay people.

Voices Of The Silenced was due to be shown at Vue Piccadilly in central London today as part of a private booking. People from Northern Ireland were among those due to attend.

Christian group Core Issues Trust, which had hired a screen for the premiere, said it was "disappointed" by the decision and insisted that the documentary was not "hateful".

LGBT charity Stonewall said it was "shocking" that the cinema had initially agreed to show a film about the "unethical and degrading" practice.

A spokeswoman for Vue said: "Vue review all private screening bookings once content and full details have been received in full.

"While it is not our intention to censor content, in some instances where we feel an activity is in direct contradiction to Vue's values a decision will be made to refrain from allowing a private event to go ahead.

"Vue has therefore cancelled a private event request by Core Issues Trust and Christian Concern due to the event endorsing and promoting a 'cure' to being gay."

Voices Of The Silenced follows the stories of 15 individuals "coming out of homosexual practices".

The film is being released by the Core Issues Trust, which offers "therapeutic support for those with unwanted homosexual feelings".

Mike Davidson, chief executive of the group, said: "I really don't see what their problem is.

"This is not anything that is hateful, it's about representing the needs and aspirations of a group in the population who are underrepresented, misunderstood and frankly poorly treated in society."

He added: "We think this is an appalling way for Vue to treat anybody."

Mr Davidson said 126 ticket-holders, including people from Northern Ireland, Africa and Europe, were due to attend the event.

Core Issues Trust is seeking legal advice about the cancelled booking, he added.

A spokesman for Stonewall said: "It's disappointing that Vue Piccadilly would consider screening a documentary about so-called 'conversion therapy'.

"LGBT people aren't ill. Being gay, lesbian, bi or trans is not something that should be 'cured' or changed."

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