Gay 'cure' meeting fuels intolerance
People are perfectly entitled to hold their Christian beliefs, but they should not be surprised that sometimes their views, when they stray from accepted orthodoxy, are regarded as controversial. Such is the case with Christian group, the Core Issues Trust, which is promoting a therapy which it claims can help gay people get rid of unwanted same-sex longings. Imagine the furore if they said there was a cure for some other brand of religion.
In the modern world any attempt to equate homosexuality with a disorder or an abnormality of the system which can be cured is patently absurd and insulting.
Indeed, it can only add to the torment felt by people who are already confused about their sexual identity. Even the Royal College of Psychiatrists has stated that homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder. Asserting that there is a therapy to cure this sexual orientation flies in the face of all known facts.
But even worse, it has the insidious effect of feeding the always present homophobic or anti-homosexual culture in society.
Opponents of a gay lifestyle will seize on the idea of a therapy to further isolate and ostracise people who are homosexual. Even in modern society a culture of gay bashing is never far beneath the surface and in some regions of the world intolerance of homosexuals has lethal consequences for members of the gay community.
Northern Ireland has made significant strides in accepting gay lifestyles in recent times - although there is still far to go.
Meetings such as the one organised by the Core Issues Trust today raise the temperature of any debate on gay rights, leading to immediately polarised views.
While it may not be intended, talk of a cure for homosexuality fuels intolerance. There is no factual basis for such claims and the meeting is most unwelcome.