Amen to that…
Jayne Ozanne, an openly gay evangelical Christian, has called for a ban on “spiritual abuse” and “conversion therapy” within the Church of England to ensure the safety of LGBT+ Christians.
Ozanne said that “spiritual abuse” was “commonplace” within churches and “can cause lasting damage to victims, particularly in relation to their sense of identity, wellbeing and mental health.”
Ozanne struggled with suicidal thoughts following an experience with “conversion therapy”. She said that the practice “has no place in the modern world, is unethical, harmful and not supported by evidence.”
She later opened up about her experience and said: “The ‘healing therapy’ I went through was about trying to deliver me from my homosexuality. It made me feel ashamed of my sexuality, guilty, sinful, desperate – but most of all deeply depressed, which led to a breakdown. I was unable to function. I know so many people who have been there.
“I don’t want to see another young person take their life, or end up in hospital as I did with my body cracking under the strain. We need to put an end to this practice and instead celebrate who we are,” she added.
Ozanne has written a paper on the subject, titled Spiritual Abuse – The Next Great Scandal for the Church, she has called a motion to be debated by the Church of England to endorse a statement issued by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy which condemned conversion therapy, when the C of E’s ruling body, the General Synod, meets in July.
Conversion therapy is still legal in England, but illegal in eight US states, including Nevada, which banned the practice last month.
Words Matt Moore