Human Rights Watch have published first-hand accounts from people in China who have been subjected to forced gay conversion therapies.
Their report details 17 cases between 2009 and 2017, including verbal and mental abuse, forced medication and electric shock therapy in Chinese hospitals. 11 of those interviewed were forced to take medication without being informed about its purpose or side-effects. Five of those interviewed were subjected to electric shocks while being shown images or videos – or given verbal descriptions – of homosexual acts.
Doctors and clinics can charge up to 30,000 yuan (£3,440) to “treat” gay people.
The Liverpool Echo sent a reporter undercover to investigate a so called church in Liverpool offering gay cure therapy.
The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry in Anfield was found offering gay people the chance to “cure” themselves of their homosexuality through a relentless prayer session involving three days without food or water.
The reporter was told by “Brother Michael” that being gay is biologically wrong, and that by undergoing prayer therapy [his sexuality] could be corrected to “allow him to marry and have children.”
A petition to make gay cure therapies illegal was rejected by the government, despite all major psychological professional bodies stating it had “the potential to cause harm”.
Your Activist repeats: Your sexuality cannot be changed. Over more than a hundred years, many different methods have been used to try to change people’s sexuality. Not a single one of them worked.
Colin Robert Houston | Belfast Telegraph | 17143
Colin Robert Houston, a pastor and baggage handler, who offered to “cure” a homosexual colleague and complained about a pink tin of deodorant left on his work locker, lost his claim for unfair dismissal and religious belief discrimination.
The behaviour of the former UUP council candidate and preacher was revealed at an industrial tribunal he took against his employer at Belfast International Airport.
A bumper sticker bearing the slogan “I’m so gay I can’t even drive straight”, was stuck to his car. He told an openly gay colleague that there was a cure for gayness.
All of his claims were dismissed. The tribunal ruled that in view of all the complaints against him the temptation to end his contract “must have been overwhelming”.
US state governments are outlawing gay cure conversion therapy. California became the first to do so in 2012. Eight other states have banned it in some form since. In 2017 alone, Nevada, New Mexico, and Connecticut signed their own bans into law. And two weeks ago a bill passed the Rhode Island Senate.
“We’ve gone from kind of a trickle to what seems to be more of a stream,” said Scott McCoy, senior policy counsel at the Southern Poverty Law Center. SPLC filed the suit against Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, a conversion-therapy group. The case was the first consumer-fraud case heard against the use of conversion therapy in the U.S.
President Obama called for an end to “therapies” that aim to change sexual orientation or gender identity, but a bill introduced to ban conversion therapy at the federal level stalled in Congress last year.
Church of England bishops have overwhelmingly backed a motion calling for a ban on “unethical” conversion therapy for gay Christians. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said during the debate: “The sooner the practice of so-called conversion therapy is banned, I can sleep at night.”
The vote sends out a strong message to the world that the church does not see homosexuality as a crime, said Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes.
A majority backed the motion in both the House of Clergy and the House of Laity, while all but one voted in favour in the House of Bishops.
A gay man in central China, Mr Yu, has damages from a psychiatric hospital over forced “gay cure” conversion therapy. In China it is the first such victory for the LGBT rights movement which is gradually emerging in the country.
A court in Zhumadian ordered a city psychiatric hospital to publish an apology in local newspapers and pay the 38-year old man 5,000 yuan – £570 – in compensation.
Mr Yu had been forcibly admitted to the hospital in 2015 by his wife and relatives. He was diagnosed with “sexual preference disorder” and forced to take medicine and receive injections. He walked free after 19 days.
China removed homosexuality from its list of recognised mental illnesses more than 15 years ago but it is reported that families do admit their relatives for conversion therapy.
The Church of England looks set to condemn controversial “gay cures”, a month after the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May suggested such “treatments” could be banned.
Last month Mrs May said the Government was “reviewing” “gay cure” therapies to see if they should be banned. She said: “We’re looking carefully at the extent of the problem, and the experience of other countries that have introduced bans, to ensure we get the approach to this right.”