By Sharon Slater, Family Watch International
The House of Commons will vote this Friday, November 22nd on a bill that would deny therapy for individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) who seek this help. This will be the second reading for the bill, “Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill 2013-14,” and we are strongly urging you to contact your MP and ask him or her to vote against it.
There are many reasons to reject this bill, including the fact that it violates the fundamental international human right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The bill is based on false claims that therapy for individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction is ineffective and even harmful. However, there is overwhelming evidence that therapy for those dealing with unwanted SSA has helped many people, and a number of them have reoriented to a heterosexual orientation.
Dr. Michael Davidson, one of the most knowledgeable and effective defenders of patients’ rights to therapy in the UK, has laid out the case for opposing this bill in detail in an excellent book, Out of Harm’s Way: Working Ethically with Same-sex attracted Persons. This book, and two companion volumes, are available on Amazon UK. Copies of this book have been delivered to all MPs and Members of the House of Lords.
Family Watch also has put together an extensive policy brief showing why adopting such legislation, which has already been enacted into law with respect to therapy for minors in two U.S. states, is irresponsible, unwarranted and will be harmful. The policy brief is available here. We have also written a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron and several other government officials explaining why this bill should be rejected.
We strongly urge you to contact your MP as soon as possible and ask him or her to vote against this bill. You can find contact information for your MP by going to the Find Your MP page. When you contact him or her, we suggest you make several general points: