A writer for The Guardian newspaper has labelled Christian teaching on forgiveness and redemption as “insidious” and “a dog-whistle for conversion therapy”.
Fred McConnell, a woman who lives as a man, referenced the Ashers ‘gay cake’ case among concerns over a local church’s stance on LGBT issues.
The comments came as LGBT activist and General Synod member Jayne Ozanne launched a multi-faith campaign attacking biblical sexual ethics.
McConnell, who failed in a bid to be listed as ‘father’ on her child’s birth certificate last year, looked into the church’s beliefs after “hearing a rumour about a sermon being given” on “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”
As a result, McConnell said: “I knew I would only ever be truly welcome if I accepted this insidious talk of ‘forgiveness’ and ‘redemption’, which I would not be alone in hearing as a dog-whistle for conversion therapy”.
Earlier this week, The Ozanne Foundation launched a multi-faith declaration to affirm and celebrate LGBT practice, including a call to ban “all attempts to change, suppress or erase a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression”.
Earlier this year the Foundation urged the Prime Minister to introduce a law covering “the full range of religious practices”, including outlawing calls to sexual abstinence. It also called for the law to prevent trans people who regret changing sex getting help to detransition.
The Foundation’s Director, Jayne Ozanne, alongside former evangelical Steve Chalke, urged the Government to take action against any prayer, private conversation and preaching which does not affirm homosexual or transgender lifestyles.
Both Chalke and Ozanne have criticised churches for teaching LGBT people that their desires “are ‘sinful’”. Ozanne called it a “harmful practice” that ‘can’t be allowed to continue’.