Video Description (from Youtube)
A clear majority of the public say so-called gay 'conversion therapy' should be banned, according to a poll shared exclusively with ITV News.
Shared on: 19 Jul 2020
The findings come as campaigners call on the government to announce a ban next week, after two years of delays.
62% of those surveyed by YouGov, on behalf of the Ozanne Foundation, which campaigns to end conversion therapy, said that they support a ban.
This week, ITV News spoke to 'Tom' (not his real name), who spent three years in group therapy sessions, trying to turn himself straight.
He told us: "There's a secrecy around it. You're encouraged not to tell anyone you're part of it.
"They would ask you to talk about how often you have been tempted to think in a 'gay' way.
"There were a lot of questions about family, upbringing and childhood experiences. We were made to feel that we would all achieve what we were looking for, which was to eventually marry a woman and have a family."
Instead, Tom says he was left feeling suicidal.
"There were definitely times that I felt I didn't really want to go on. There were times where I felt there was no real hope," he said.
Eventually he quit the group and has now embraced his sexuality.
Tom was first referred for conversion therapy by Mike Davidson, who runs the Core Issues Trust and still practices from his office near Belfast.
When we met Mr Davidson to show him our interview with Tom, he told us: "He was sent to somebody who is registered as a qualified psychiatrist. You cannot ban people's human right to plan the trajectory they want to go in."
Mr Davidson added: "People should be free, and we should give them the right and freedom to go in the direction they they want to."
He continued: "Banning just simply won't work... That's not what democracy is, and that's not what scientific debate is.
"What are they going to do? Are they going to ban conversations between people?"
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