With all the bad news plastered all over the internet and TV, one might think that all is lost. Thankfully, that isn't the case as the Church of England just took a remarkable stand for LGBTQ rights.
Instead of simply condemning conversion therapy, a practice used by those who contend that an individual may be led to switch sexual preferences thanks to therapy or spiritual counseling, the Church of England is now calling for a complete ban on the method.
On July 8, Church of England bishops voted for a motion that would call the English government to put an end to the use of the so-called therapy. The vote followed testimonials coming from members who had been exposed to the practice and suffered a great deal.
As the religious organization asked for a full change of heart, it also condemned conversion therapy as something that should have “no place in the modern world.”
To Dr. John Sentamu, archbishop of York, having the therapy banned is a matter of principle.
“The sooner the practice of so-called conversion therapy is banned, I can sleep at night,” he told reporters.
Passing in each of the three houses of the Church of England's governing body, the motion sends a strong message not only to Britons but also to the world that homosexuality is not a crime, Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes said.
"We do not need to engage people in healing therapy if they are not sick," Bayes added during the debate.
Unfortunately, many people still believe that conversion therapy is effective. Many states in the United States still allow and even support the practice, even as individuals who have been subjected to it tell others about the ordeals they have experienced.
To Garrard Conley, one of such individuals and the author of “Boy Erased,” the experience came about because his parents truly believed that the therapy would “cure” their son.
“I think because we don't [have] many stories that are queer, it's easier for parents and these counselors to buy into these harmful ideas," Conley said. "Not that I shifted the blame necessarily — people were responsible for sending me there — but this was a much larger cultural moment. It's been happening since the beginning of our country. It's still happening. These things don't go away.”
Instead of simply ignoring where the belief in this kind of therapy comes from, Conley explained, we must talk about it and fight so that other kids and young adults don't have to go through the same ordeal. With this latest call for action, the Church of England may have just helped to boost Conley's case.