LGBT activists in the UK are calling for a ban on “hate prayer” that would suggest active homosexuals need to convert.
Prayer asking God to help individuals overcome same-sex attraction, even when they themselves have requested it, is similar to hate speech and hate preaching, declares Jayne Ozanne, who identifies as a gay Evangelical Christian and member of the General Synod.
“Prayer isn’t prayer if it causes you to hate yourself for being LGBT!” Ozanne wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “It’s actually ‘Hate prayer.’ It is dangerous, damaging & must be included in a bill to #BanConversationtherapy.”
“I know – I spent years trying to ‘pray the gay away’ & ended up in hospital wishing I would die,” she added.
Last year, Ms. Ozanne compared biblical Christians to “rapists” and “Holocaust deniers” for upholding traditional Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality.
Unlike the soldiers who crucified Jesus, church leaders know they are “wounding and hurting” LGBT people by propagating biblical sexual morality, Ozanne writes, and thus Jesus’ prayer — “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” — does not apply to them.
In her crusade against “hate prayer,” Ozanne has found support in other gay activists.
Baldwin also cites Ozanne, who declared on BBC: “I want a ban on prayer that has a predetermined outcome which says that you have to change and cannot be gay.”
The same message was also echoed by Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, a member of the Ozanne Foundation, who insisted that “hate prayer” must be banned.
The Daily Mail reported Wednesday that the UK government has “finally committed to introducing legislation to ban the ‘abhorrent’ practice” of conversion therapy, “which is based on the belief that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is a mental illness that can be ‘cured.’”
“While conversion therapy sounds like something from a bygone age or a practice that could only be allowed in a more oppressive, less tolerant nation, it is alive and well in the UK today,” the Daily Mail warned.
In its report, the Mail recounted the cases of four “victims” of conversion therapy, but fails to comment on the hundreds of cases of people who have found the therapy a source of grace and peace.
In 2018, a group including former gays who benefited from reparative therapy protested a California bill that would have labeled conversion therapy a fraudulent business practice.
Rallying at the state Capitol, demonstrators claimed that the legislation unfairly limited people’s options to seek psychological help. The protesters included 30 former gay and transgendered people who spoke outside the California statehouse against the proposed law.
“I did not want to be gay,” said Christian pastor Jim Domen, who said the therapy helped him to marry his wife and have children. “Please do not take away professional help programs that have helped people like me.”
“This legislation actually takes away rights from those who are questioning their sexuality,” said Ken Williams, co-founder of Equipped to Love. “We don’t want to see an America where the government is controlling how people identify sexually.”
Pro golfer Kris Olsen also denounced the bill for making it illegal for former homosexuals like her to freely seek counseling.
“AB2943 violates my right to choose,” Olsen said. “It is a blatant violation of my first amendment rights and I believe there’s a reason why our Founding Father chose to put these rights in the very first amendment.”
Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, Jr, a licensed clinical psychologist who runs the largest reparative therapy clinic in the world, told Breitbart News that his clinic uses evidence-based treatment interventions, the same used by other clinics to treat trauma and sexual addictions.
“In the client-therapist relationship, the client is in the driver’s seat,” Nicolosi said. “Politicians have no business telling people their therapy goals are illegal.”
“Thirty years of science has shown us that sexuality is fluid and can change for many people,” Nicolosi said.
Dr. Nicolosi said limiting people’s legitimate options for ideological reasons is a textbook case of political overreach.
“I help people resolve the issues that are causing them conflict, affirm them in their journey, and help them achieve their goals— not the politician’s goals!” Nicolosi said.
In 1997, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) conducted a survey of 882 patients who had undergone reparative therapy seeking to modify their sexual orientation.
Nearly half of the patients (47 percent) experienced a significant change in their sexual attraction. Among patients who self-identified as “exclusively homosexual” before treatment, 18 percent self-identified as exclusively heterosexual following therapy, while 17 percent identified as almost entirely heterosexual and 12 percent as more heterosexual than homosexual.
Obviously, no one is required to undergo reparative therapy. The question remains why legislators would seek to outlaw a voluntary practice that has helped many people to find peace.