Vue Cinemas pays settlement to gay ‘cure’ advocates over film ban dispute

Vue Cinemas has paid a “nominal” settlement to gay ‘cure’ advocates – but the company says it stands by the decision to block their film screening.

PinkNews revealed in February that fringe evangelical group the Core Issues Trust was set to hold a screening of a film advocating gay ‘cure’ therapy at Vue’s Piccadilly Circus cinema in London.

The screening was abruptly cancelled at the last minute after the PinkNews report, with a statement explaining the film is “in direct contradiction to Vue’s values.”

The Core Issues Trust vowed to pursue legal action against Vue Cinemas over the dispute, and drew support from the Christian Legal Centre, which is connected to anti-LGBT fundamentalist lobbying group Christian Concern.

This week, Vue Cinemas agreed to settle the case for a “nominal amount” after admitting breach of contract.

A spokesperson for Vue Cinemas told PinkNews: “‘Vue firmly stands by its decision to cancel the screening of ‘Voices of the Silenced’ which was in direct conflict to our values.

“The claim made relates simply to a technical breach of contract because of the late cancellation of the screen booking and was for a nominal amount.

“This has nothing to do with freedom of expression laws.”

But Mike Davidson of the Core Issues Trust said: “I am delighted that freedom of expression has won today.

“We worked hard to create Voices of the Silenced because we believe that it contains a very important, highly-relevant message – people can change.

“This population have been failed by Mental Health Services because they are denied professional counselling respectful of their world view.

“Vue Cinemas has recognised that it was wrong to block us from showing the film. I hope that in future they won’t fold under pressure from LGBT activists who want to suppress the voices of those who want to move away from same-sex attraction and behaviour.”

Mike Davidson

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, claimed: “People like Mike need to be heard loudly and clearly in the current debate on sexuality and gender.

“Their experiences simply don’t fit in with current LGBT ideology and narratives which claim that it’s impossible for someone’s sexual attraction to change.”

“LGBT activists shouldn’t be allowed to define or deny other people’s life experiences or squeeze them out of the public debate.

“It is not compassionate to allow LGBT ideology to go unchallenged, nor to prevent people who want to see change in their lives from seeking help.

“I hope that the government starts to listen to the voices of people like Mike before pursuing any attacks on the freedom of people with same-sex attraction to seek change.”

Experts overwhelmingly agree that attempts to cure sexuality or gender identity are futile, misguided, and often extremely harmful, and governments across the world are coming under increasing pressure to crack down.

Attempts to force teens to repress their true selves have been linked to depression, self-harm and even suicide.

In July, the UK government published an LGBT Action Plan vowing to “fully consider all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy.”