A religious group is set to hold a conference promoting techniques on how to “cure” homosexuality in London later this week.

According to the Anglican Mainstream Organisation, the event will have “a special focus on how religious professionals and friends/relatives can respond biblically and pastorally to those struggling with unwanted SSA (same-sex attraction).

“(The conference is) ideal for clergy, rabbis, psychologists, therapists, educators and others concerned about the plethora of sexual issues confronting us in today’s society, including mentoring the sexually broken, the sexualisation of culture, pornography, the Bible and sex, and marriage, the family and sex”

Guest speakers include Joseph Nicolosi of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, who is an advocate and practitioner of ‘Reparative Therapy’, which claims to help people overcome or reduce unwanted homosexual feelings.

A spokesperson for the Lesbian and Gay Foundation said: “It is worrying to hear of this conference aimed at promoting such a deplorable and dangerous approach to therapy, and giving a platform to homophobic ideas.

“We encourage people to access Gay Affirmative Therapy, rather than internalise the homophobic beliefs of others.”

Recent research published in the BMC Psychiatry journal showed that one sixth of registered British therapist and psychiatrists have attempted to “cure” patients of homosexuality.

“There is very little evidence to show that attempting to treat a person’s homosexual feelings is effective and in fact it can actually be harmful,” said Michael King of University College London.”So it is surprising that a significant minority of practitioners still offer this help to their clients.”

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