The despicable organisation is headed by 'ex-gay' Christian extremist Mike Davidson

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AS more and more countries move to ban quack ‘gay cure’ therapies – Germany being the latestMike Davidson, above, continues to operate a Christian organisation that seeks to engender or amplify feelings of self-loathing among members of LGBT communities who may have feelings of doubt or insecurity.

The existence of the Core Issues Trust, based in Northern Ireland, is an affront to right-thinking people everywhere. But the fact that the trust enjoys charitable status, and by extension, the support of taxpayers, is nothing short of scandalous, and Britain’s leading secular organisation, the National Secular Society, wants this privilege to end.

Last week the NSS wrote to Northern Ireland’s Chief Charity Commissioner Nicole Lappin, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and Health Minister Robin Swann to point out the inappropriateness of CIT’s  status.

In its letter, the NSS wrote:

Given that this practice can cause individuals significant mental health issues and harms society by reinforcing stigmas against LGBT+ people, we believe a clear tension exists between the public benefit requirement and the promotion of ‘conversion therapy’.

Organisations that serve no clear public benefit – or worse, cause harm by actively promoting ‘conversion therapy’  – risk fundamentally undermining public confidence in the charitable sector.

The society added that a provision which makes “the advancement of religion” a charitable purpose should be re-evaluated.

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NSS Chief Executive Stephen Evans, above, said:

Bogus therapies which encourage people to change or suppress their sexuality are harmful and widely discredited. Those promoting them shouldn’t enjoy the tax breaks and public recognition that charitable status brings.

The Charity Commission said the letter will be considered in detail. A spokesperson said:

The purpose of charity law is not to say if a certain belief is right or wrong. The definition of a charity in law says that you must be established for exclusively charitable purposes. A purpose must be beneficial, not harmful. If any organisation, including a religious one, requires improper pressure to be placed on people to remain within that organisation against their will, or completely withdraw from society, then there is likely to be more harm than benefit.

A purpose must also not promote hatred towards others who do not share the same religion. The commission is considering in detail the issues raised.

CIT is beside itself with fury over the NSS’s demand. On its website on May 15 it said:

The Society accuses the Trust of causing harm by “actively promoting ‘conversion therapy’.” On the contrary, the Trust promotes client autonomy and advocates therapeutic and counselling choice for individuals dissatisfied with unwanted sexual attractions, feelings and behaviours or gender confusions.

The NSS appears to be intolerant of any viewpoint that does not promote secular humanism, or which support the rights and freedoms for individuals to live according to conscience informed by primary religious values

We will no longer tolerate unsubstantiated accusations of harm against Core Issues Trust and call on the NSS to now provide the evidence upon which it claims we have harmed individuals or society.

The Trust promotes standard change-allowing therapies for adult persons no longer prepared to abide by an imposed political document – the “Memorandum of Understanding” which restricts access to professional help and support for chosen identities unless they conform to progressive views on sexuality. 

We wish to assert that statements made by politicians or special interest groups or executive bodies within the Mental Health fraternities which promote the normalisation of homosexual practice and transgenderism do not constitute scientific evidence or research data.

CIT sets out its “public benefits” on the Charity Commission of Northern Ireland’s website. Buried within 893 words of obfuscation, deceit and meaningless waffle are these words:

With state support of aggressive secularism in the UK increasing, there may be a high level of intolerance from those insisting on the right not to be offended. For example, viewpoints unable to support the right of individuals to reduce or end unwanted homosexual behaviours or to express in support of doing so, may offend some groups. Claims that initiatives supporting individuals choosing to leave homosexual practices for example, are always harmful, will be made. 

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It will come as no surprise that one of CIT is closely associated with ideranged homophobe Andrea Minichiello Williiams, above, CEO of Christian Concern, which went into outrage overdrive in 2013 when the British Psychodrama Association (BPA) removed Davidson from its register of trainee psychotherapists under the direction of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

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