What Tom’s excellent articles are essentially saying is that homophobia is learned behaviour, homosexuality is not. Bigots are not born, they are made. Homophobia is a social disease and it can be cured. Homosexuality is simply how people are . Homosexuals are born that way, it is not a disease and it cannot therefore be cured. Conversion therapy does not work and it does harm. Every professional medical organisation is agreed on that. They are also agreed that attempts to do so may do severe harm to the patient. Even if it could work it should not be tried. The problem with people’s sexuality is with other peoples attitude towards it .
Now, prompted by the Parliamentary Questions tabled by Diana Johnson MP, the Government has said that it too is of the same opinion.Sadly, however their answers also showed that the Government is prepared to do precisely nothing about it.
It is an achievement for our campaign that the Government has, for the first time, condemned the practice. Yet sadly it is prepared to do precisely nothing to prevent it taking place. This means that our campaign to effectively ban this practice is more urgent than ever. Of course the petition by itself will not achieve this, but it will be a start.Other action will be needed. The first petition to Parliament for Female Suffrage was signed by 1499 male electors. It took campaigners over half a century to achieve their aim and only then after a wide variety of campaigning methods. We cannot afford to wait that long. We may need to use other methods. But signing and presenting this petition,even if you do not agree with every syllable of it, is an essential start. Conversion therapy does not work and it hurts. We must stop it.
By Colin Livett