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LGBT protesters rally outside church offering homosexuality 'conversion therapy'; Protesters in Belfast waved rainbow flags and held placards proclaiming that 'love needs no cure' outside Windsor Baptist Church.

Byline: Rachel Lang

A group of LGBT rights campaigners are protesting outside a church hosting homosexuality "conversion therapy".

Around 25 to 30 people rallied at Windsor Baptist Church church in Belfast to highlight their opposition to religious forum, organised by the True Freedom Trust (TFT).

The pastoral support ministry describes itself as having "orthodox biblical view[s] of sex".

Protesters waved rainbow flags and held placards proclaiming that "love needs no cure".

The demonstration was largely silent, with no songs, chants or speeches, and was monitored at a distance by nearby police.

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According to TFT, their 'Pressing On' conference is aimed at those with " same-sex temptations" who want to hold "firm to the biblical position on sexuality morality".

Despite LGBT groups branding the conference as 'conversion therapy', TFT claims that they offer "pastoral support" - not therapy or counselling - for Christians who find themselves attracted to members of the same sex but who want to adhere to the biblical definition of sex as between a married man and woman.

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The Rainbow Project, the LGBT health advocacy group responsible for the protest, has rejected TFT's claims, branding their sexual orientation change efforts as "quackery".

"The True Freedom Trust is a reparative therapy organisation that believe that there is something wrong with being gay and people should move away from being gay," Rainbow Project director John O'Doherty said, slamming the religious forum.

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"We will always stand opposed to this type of quackery in Belfast, we will always protest these events.

"The actions of all reparative therapy and conversion therapy groups are the same - they believe that there's something wrong with being gay and they seek to support people in moving away from being LGBT.

"Conversion therapy, reparative therapy and all other so-called sexual orientation change efforts are rightly condemned by reputable mental health, counselling and psychotherapy bodies around the world as unethical and harmful to the people who are subjected to these practices.

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"These practices are rooted in homophobia, transphobia, prejudice and stereotyping and are targeted at the most vulnerable members of our community. LGBT+ people, including LGBT+ people of faith, are not broken. We are not sick and we do not need to be 'fixed' by these quacks and charlatans."

True Freedom Trust will host three more anti-LGBT conferences across the UK in the coming months.

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Credit: David Young/PA Wire

True Freedom Trust director Stuart Parker outside Windsor Baptist Church in Belfast.

Credit: PA

Demonstrators held the peaceful picket outside the church.

Credit: PA

Rainbow Project director John O'Doherty joins campaigners

Credit: PA

Shirley McPhearson (left) with her dog Molly and Helen Crickard joined campaigners

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Article Details
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Author:Rachel Lang
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 6, 2019
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