More than 370 religious leaders from around the world have called for a ban on conversations, an attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The signatories to the resolution represent all the major faiths of the world and many are known as advocates of homosexuality and transgender people (LGBT).
They include Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and former Chief Rabbi of Ireland David Rosen.
Some religious leaders have said that the ban is likely to affect religious leaders.
The ban will be announced at a meeting sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO) on Wednesday.
The Bishop of the Anglican Church in Liverpool, Paul Bayes, and Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland, are also among those who signed the proclamation.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reaffirmed the ban on gay talk and said in July that the measure was “absolutely inappropriate” and “has no place in this country”.
The government has not yet commented on the ban, but has said it has ordered a study and will provide guidance on its plan “soon”.
The term “conversion therapy” refers to any type of therapy intended to alter sexual orientation or suppress sexual identity.
It includes religious teachings or discussions aimed at changing gender.
Discussions have already been banned in Switzerland and in some parts of Australia, Canada and the United States.
I was afraid
A 2018 study involving 108,000 people in the UK same-sex community found that two percent of the population had received treatment and another 5 percent had been persuaded to do so.
Many of the world’s religions, including Christianity, Islam and Judaism, teach that the opposite is true of same-sex marriage.
Joe Hyman, 28, grew up in a Jewish and Orthodox family in North London. He says that as a teenager he was exposed to online dating.
“I wanted to be changed,” he told the BBC. “I didn’t want to think about being gay when I was Jewish. I didn’t think my family would accept me. I went on strike.
He says he was given sexual treatment online and face-to-face.
“It left me feeling really empty, overwhelmed, always worried and scared because I wasn’t doing the right thing,” she said.
PHOTO SOURCE, JOE HYMAN
Joe Hyman, who received conversion therapy, said it has both psychological and physical effects.
The resolution calls for the prohibition of “attempts to alter, suppress or erase a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual expression – known as ‘conversion therapy’ – to end, and that these harmful practices be prohibited.
However, some conservative religious groups in different religions say that the ban may interfere with religious freedom,
They fear that the ban means the government will create a law to regulate the training provided by religious leaders, which they may or may not teach.
Peter Lynas, the British director of the Evangelical Union of 3,000 churches in the UK, says he supports “the abolition of abuse and coercion without prohibiting change in religious doctrine, which is fundamental to Christianity.
He told the BBC that the ban could “offend counsellors, pastors and even those who are asked to pray for people”.
We want to help
Sheikh Ramzy, an Islamic scholar and founder of the Islamic Information Center, said it was important that imams have the opportunity to “help” if gay Muslims wanted to change their sexual orientation.
“We want to help them not to hurt them,” he told the BBC.
But Joe, said that treatment should be banned immediately.