LONDON, February 19, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – While pressure continues at the international level to prohibit psychotherapists from offering help to those wanting to overcome same-sex attraction, a Canadian therapist has told a British audience that such bans are “unethical.” A debate, billed as a discussion on the “legitimacy and freedom to offer sexual reorientation,” was held at Westminster in late January organized by Christian Concern and Core Issues Trust ahead of a debate in the House of Commons on the government’s “gay marriage” bill.

Dr. Joseph Berger, a consultant psychiatrist at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Canada, and a practitioner of “change therapy,” attended the debate and said it “absolutely horrifies” him that some professional therapy organizations in Britain are attempting to prohibit therapists from offering it.

“There should be absolutely no ban on any such treatment. In fact, I consider it unethical to propose such bans,” Berger said.

In the debate, Berger said, “The idea to me in terms of any group coming and saying that should not be permitted in terms of people wanting to question their same-sex thoughts and desires and behaviors -- that is what is unethical. That people would seek to stop that, would seek to ban it, would seek to try to throw such therapists out of their professional bodies, that to me is absolutely horrendous.”

Homosexual political activist Peter Tatchell, who was also on the debate panel, framed the issue entirely as a matter of “homophobia.' Tatchell said, “These therapists are not seeking to independently, objectively analyze sexual orientation.” Tatchell claimed that there is no evidence that the therapy works, saying it is wrong to give people “false hope” and that “we know from the evidence that there is virtually no possibility for 99.9 percent of people.”

But Dr. Berger said there is “tons” of evidence that contradicts this axiom of the homosexualist movement. “Considerable proportions” of people who come forward asking for help, “some studies suggest 33 percent, to other studies that come up as high as 79 percent,” have been helped. He added that claims that these therapies are harmful are anecdotal. Berger added, “I treat people, not homosexuality.”

Dr. Michael Davidson, a therapist whose credentials are under threat for offering therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction, also attended the debate. He says that if such therapy is banned, it will limit the freedom and choices of clients, effectively cutting them off from the help they want.

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Dr. Davidson welcomed the chance to debate the topic in public. “For me, the goal of the day really is to have true debate,” he said. “Because I think one of the dangers in the UK at the moment is that we’ve pretty well closed down on this debate. And it’s very difficult to get a range of people with different points of view discussing this issue.” Davidson was up before a professional conduct inquiry on February 1st.

Psychiatric and psychological professional associations in the UK have moved towards banning the therapy and have already penalised some who practice it. Last year the UK’s Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) published guidelines for therapists that say, “offering, or agreeing to the client’s request for therapy for the reduction of same sex attraction is not in a client’s best interests.”

They call it “exploitative” to offer treatment “that might ‘cure’ or ‘reduce’ same sex attraction” saying that “there is no illness.”

“It is exploitative to offer treatment to reduce same sex attraction when various studies bring into question whether such treatments change a person’s sexuality,” they say.

In related news, following the House of Commons Debate on the “marriage equality” bill, another British therapist, Lesley Pilkington, told LifeSiteNews.com that the issue has been deliberately turned away from the realities by homosexual activist groups like Stonewall.

Pilkington, who has also been attacked for her efforts to help people with unwanted same-sex attractions, maintains that the obsession of the political class with undefined “equality rights” has blinded them to the real harms of normalising homosexual behavior and ideology, both for individuals and for the social good.

She cites the medical information and statistics for self-harm, self-hatred, serious psychological illness for active homosexuals, which she says are growing along with societal acceptance. Homosexual behaviour is “incredibly bad for the individual, it is destructive to the person and to our nation.”

She called the emphasis on “equality” in the Commons debate on the bill “distressing”. She noted the reliance of politicians on the talking points of the homosexualist movement. “One wonders who actually is running this campaign,” Pilkington said.

Equalities Minister Maria Miller led the debate for the government, echoed by her opposition counterpart, saying it would “strengthen marriage” and society, and offering the a mantra that homosexual partners are “entitled to a marriage” for the sake of a “loving, stable relationship”.

Pilkington told LifeSiteNews, “David Cameron and most of Parliament have such hubris that they are determined to redefine marriage as God has determined it should be, which we have had for centuries and which all the science says works best for the wellbeing of children and their heterosexual parents, and thus for society in general.

“Seemingly they are unable to understand that marriage only has meaning within a Judeo-Christian context; without that context it has no meaning. What now is adultery and therefore fidelity?

“No longer do we have respect for the mystical union of man and woman and the act of procreation; equating it instead to gay ‘sex.’ This nation has in effect legalized sodomy and we have disgracefully called it ‘marriage,” she said.