Northern Ireland’s chief conversion therapist says the LGBT+ community is like a ‘cult’ that you’re not allowed to leave

Mike Davidson of Core Issues Trust conversion therapy

Northern Ireland’s most prominent conversion therapy advocate Mike Davidson has said the LGBT+ community is “like a cult” that nobody is allowed to leave.

Davidson runs Core Issues Trust, a County Down based organisation that claims to “support” people with “homosexual issues” who want to become straight.

The conversion therapy advocate told Christian Today that people are not born gay and disputed the idea that homosexuality is “natural” and “unchangeable”.

“Any attempt to help people who want to work through these issues is then dismissed as ‘gay cure’, and one of the arguments that is often presented is: ‘There’s no disease, therefore there’s no need for a cure,'” Davidson said.

In the wide-ranging interview, Davidson lashed out at plans to ban conversion therapy in the UK — and insisted that such a ban would have an adverse effect.

“So what about those people who just don’t want to continue in the same direction — where will they go? Why are we dictating to them what they can or can’t do?” he asked.

“It all boils down to the fact that adults need to have the freedom to go in the direction that is comfortable to them and not be forced to be gay.”

Conversion therapy advocate bizarrely says we live in a ‘must stay gay’ culture.

Davidson continued: “If someone contemplates leaving an LGBT identity I’m afraid it’s a bit like a cult; you can’t leave it. If you do, you’ll be persecuted for doing so! Once gay, always gay. We can call this the ‘must stay gay’ culture. I don’t think this is a healthy approach.”

He also hit out at conversion therapy bans in Germany and Malta and said they are “designed to induce fear and to criminalise this kind of therapy”.

“Are we really saying that a man who is married and finds himself attracted to the same sex but wants to save his marriage and protect his children is going to be forbidden from receiving help?”

He proceeded to link same-sex attraction to child sexual abuse — an outdated and harmful stereotype that has been used for decades to delegitimise people’s sexual orientations.

“What about those who tell us that their feelings for the same sex arose after being sexually abused and they want help with that? Are we honestly saying that they cannot receive that help?”

If someone contemplates leaving an LGBT identity I’m afraid it’s a bit like a cult; you can’t leave it.

Davidson lashed out at the recent decision by Facebook and Instagram to ban content promoting conversion therapy.

“It doesn’t auger well,” he said.

“I also think this censorship flags up the totalitarian nature of the LGBT left-wing movement.”

He proceeded to lash out at “cancel culture” and the “woke mob” and said people should be “very concerned”.

Davidson is not a member of any major medical or therapeutic body and was ejected from a training course with the British Psychodrama Association (BPA) in 2012 after he expressed his controversial views on “curing” gay people in a BBC Radio Ulster interview.

In 2018, Davidson told PinkNews that he uses the honorific Dr title because he has an academic qualification. Rhodes University in South Africa later confirmed that he received a PhD in Education in 1996, which allows him to use Dr in academic contexts.

Conversion therapy has been condemned by most major psychiatric bodies and has been banned in a number of countries.

A recent United Nations report found that conversion therapy should be considered a form of torture and recommended that it be outlawed globally.

Meanwhile, a UK survey conducted last year found that one in five conversion therapy survivors later attempted suicide, while two in five said they had experienced suicidal thoughts.

Less than a third said they had gone on to lead “a happy and fulfilled life”.

Despite overwhelming evidence, conversion therapy remains legal in the UK more than two years after Theresa May’s Conservative government pledged to ban the pseudoscientific practice.

Last month, equalities minister Liz Truss said she would “shortly be bringing forward plans” to end conversion therapy, and said she was “closely following” conversion therapy bans in countries like Albania and Germany.