Standing up for homosexual rights

Yesterday I was intrigued by a story in the Sunday Telegraph about Lesley Pilkington, a psychotherapist threatened with striking-off by her professional association, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, for offering to try to help a homosexual go straight, despite the patient having requested the treatment, and having had it explained to him that Mrs. Pilkington worked “in a Christian Biblical framework”.  The “patient” turned out to be an agent provocateur — a journalist and prominent “homosexual rights” campaigner.  Mrs. Pilkington accuses him of entrapment, and she seems to have a point.

A thought occurred to me, and I immediately Tweeted it: “Why is it OK for a surgeon to perform a sex-change operation, but not OK for a psychiatrist to try to “turn” a consenting homosexual?”.

This seems to have caused quite a stir.  Of course I should have remembered that a politician isn’t allowed to mention homosexuality these days unless he is a fully paid-up member of Stonewall, and unless he conforms to the choreography of 21st century political correctness.  Yet it was a reasonable question, expressed in modest terms.  I never cease to be amazed by the instant indignation of an intolerant and strident minority.

There is a clear parallel between a man who is uncomfortable with his gender, and wants to change it; and a man who is uncomfortable with his gender-orientation, and wants to change it.  In the first case, we approve, and the NHS pays for the treatment.  In the second case, we strike off the therapist.

No doubt the Stonewall tendency will argue that homosexuality is not a disease, and therefore cannot be cured.  But being a man is not a disease, and gender reassignment surgery can scarcely be described as a cure — and yet we do it.  Surely in both cases (and in the vile argot of modern times) we are dealing with “valid lifestyle choices”, in each case.

They will also argue that changing gender orientation is impossible, and so offering to do so is deceitful.  They will dismiss examples of former homosexuals going straight as “living a lie”.  They are “conflicted”.  They are not “really” heterosexual.  Then again there will be those who might argue that a man having undergone gender reassignment is not “really” a woman — merely a man who through medical interventions has been given some of the apparent characteristics of the opposite sex.  It seems to me that this is a question not so much of medical science and biology, as of semantics and philosophy, and perhaps I am not technically qualified to judge.

But I do know that there are surgeons who make a good living out of gender reassignment, and I know that there are psychotherapists (admittedly a minority) who believe that gender orientation can be influenced.  So if a person (I hesitate to say a patient) wants the treatment, and if he and his therapist believe that there may be a chance of success, who are we to deny him that chance?

In a curious way, I feel I am speaking up for the rights of homosexuals, and in particular their right to seek to change if they want to, for whatever reason.

I am aware that some fundamentalist Muslims prescribe draconian penalties for Muslims who seek to adopt a new religion, but it is alarming to find that the homosexual tendency, who I take it would broadly see themselves as libertarian, take a similarly harsh approach to apostasy.


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12 Responses to Standing up for homosexual rights

  1. Joe says:

    Speaking as a gay man myself you are totally right (as pretty much always) Mr Helmer. You were quite clear in your tweet that this involved a “consenting” individual and as usual the left totally ignored the truth to pursue their own social liberal agenda.

    It was a very interesting point you raised, why is controversial treatment (gender reassignment) considered perfectly normal practice whereas changing of sexuality is considered abhorrent. The answer is simple, because one involves becoming a minority and the other becomes exiting one. Why would the left ever condone a practice that allows someone to exit their cosy little liberal consensus.

    I personally don’t believe that psychotherapy to change sexuality works, but that’s my opinion I am aware people disagree. That is not the point though. The point is it was a perfectly reasonable point to make and a very reasonable expression of the PC culture gone mad (as you can see through the responses)

    I hope you have met homosexuals who aren’t versions of Peter Tatchell, frankly I can’t stand the man. I personally think my sexuality is totally irrelevant to who I am. What matters is that I am a libertarian and social conservative.

    Keep being controversial Mr Helmer, we need people like you to keep challenging the nanny state liberal consensus if we are ever going to have real change!


  2. Nick says:

    As a gay man I totally agree with what you have written. If both patient and psychotherapist are consenting then they should be free to pursue a “turning” therapy, no matter how misguided it may be. Personally I don’t believe that such therapy could ever work, but that doesn’t mean it should be prohibited.

    What annoys me is the band-wagon-jumping that goes on whenever someone dares to say such a thing, which I personally do not find to be “bigoted”, “homophobic” or “narrow-minded”.

    I suspect their main motivation in criticising you is to try to bring down a patriotic and unashamedly right-wing tory.

    I notice that the people at LGBTory have shamelessly jumped on this bandwagon and surrendered yet again to the left-liberal agenda inherent in “gay culture”.

    One day I hope more gay people, including those in the Conservative Party, will wake up and realise they can speak out against “gay culture”, its culturally Marxist agenda and its shallow vulgarities, and realise they too are allowed to be socially conservative. Then we will have full equality!

    Perhaps you should have posted a follow-up tweet saying: “I can already hear the chorus of execration. How dare I say such a horrible thing? The answer is that I do not have the right not to do so.”

  3. Lee says:

    after initially being angry at your comment on your twitter iv read this blog to get an insight to why you said it. i agree that people should be given counselling if they are unsure about their sexuality, but to say being gay is a “valid lifestyle choice” is a bit ignorant and misinformed. you cant help who you fall for and are attracted to and to try and persuade someone to turn from their true self is not helpful, it can cause a lot of harm to try and get someone to pretend to be someone their not.

  4. bernard sherratt says:

    I have yet to be informed of those rights which homosexuals and lesbians lack for which they clamour so vociferously and which the rest of us enjoy. The claim for rights is justified provided they do not tread on or restrict the rights of others.

  5. Erwin says:

    A homosexual wishing to get his sexual orientation changed should have at least the same right to do so as any transgender who wants to have his sex re-assigned. Why is this such a problem for the pink taliban???

    In fact, I think that Stoewall, ILGA, and their likes do not represent all homosexuals, but only a small part of that constituency. They are the REAL discriminators.

  6. Brian Raum says:

    There are a significant number of individuals who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions. And many, for a variety of reasons, want to change. For some, their same-sex attraction is in direct conflict with their deeply held religious beliefs. As a result, they may seek counseling to either live a celibate life or alternatively seek therapy the goal of which is to shed their same-sex attraction and develop an opposite-sex attraction. And the fact is that many are successful.
    I am amazed that those who oppose such counseling fail to acknowledge how that opposition directly interferes with the religious liberty of those seeking it. But then again, those who support the homosexual legal agenda must perpetuate the idea that same-sex attraction is immutable and unchangeable despite the utter lack of scientific evidence for that proposition. Even the ultra liberal American Psychiatric Association admits that there is no scientific evidence that demonstrates that one’s sexual attraction is related to genetics.

  7. Having seen your piece on conservative home I decided to make my comment on here to make sure it gets accepted.This Hysterical outburst by the lady you got complained about[although what was ladylike about the complaint I don,t know],also you say you got a lot of abuse,is typical of a certain mindset in the lobby,as you described , it is as I would call it considered heresy or apostasy,no one is allowed to leave the fold,it is considered treachery.your analysis is astute in how you put it.To this lobby it is thought of as the two sides of the ‘Force’ as in star wars analogy,once a homosexual always one and if you cross over you are Darth Vader.In my sphere of knowledge I can tell of a Charismatic church
    that through it,s entire congregation only last year worked on reorientating a young man [If that is the right word to use] in his late teens ,at the request of both his parents and him,BUT this was done in absolute secrecy for fear of bringing down the forces of hell on their heads and all the publicity this would generate,when it slipped out from my friend,s teenage son who worked for me in front of his mother,they begged me to secrecy ,in fact they had genuine fear in their faces.I was quite disturbed by this and have never said a word in my local area just in case.I also have read elsewhere accounts like this, one time in the mid 2000,s written about in the Daily Mail by a female comedy performer who described all the threats and abuse she got when she Turned and got married and had a child,so much so that she quit the female comedy circuit,and dropped out of sight.If and when this happens the lobby is quite frightening in it,s anger and agression and very very unfair,but I think that this attitude proves to me that it is a Lifestyle Choice rather than something in the DNA,it is also an environmental thing.It also is Proseletysed by this sector of society and the mid teen youth is seen as a target.Another episode that I was involved in happened in South Africa where I lived from 1981 till 2008,this was in 1990,I owned a chain of fashion accessory shops,one of my manageresses was married with 3 children ,then her husband left her after abusing her for years and went to
    the USA not long after this she got drawn in by a group of women who recognised her vulnerability and Turned her,in a country as conservative then as South Africa to be a Lesbian was considered as bad as being a satanist,the group were known in the town she lived and totally dissaproved of,her neighbours were outraged because of the children.At my annual Xmas do for my staff at my home,under the influence of drink she came on to most of the women actually trying to touch them,and told them hers was the only path for women as men were all bad,it caused quite a furore,she was besotted with one of these lesbian group but was heartbroken 6 months later when left for a younger new recruit,sadly this happening within only a couple of years of the marriage breakup ,caused her to commit suicide and left 3 Orphans,perhaps if she had not been enticed because of her vulnerability by this group she might have got over her breakup and the children could still have had a mother.The group weren,t affected by her death at all and the whole community there turned on them,to the extent that they moved away to escape the opprobrium.

  8. Tony Sidaway says:

    Sorry if this sounds a little pedantic, but a psychotherapist isn’t a psychiatrist by a long chalk.

    Psychiatrists are fully qualified physicians who happen to specialize in psychiatry, a medical field encompassing mental health. Like all mainstream medicine, psychiatry is heavily regulated.

    In the UK anybody can practise as a counsellor or psychotherapist without training or accreditation. the diale is subject to voluntary regulation and there are a couple of voluntary membership organizations, including the BACP of which Lesley Pilkington is a member.

    As I understand it, there is no credible body of research to support the notion of “curing” homosexuality. The BACP may well strike Pilkington off its books for dodgy practice. of course this would have no material effect on her ability to do what she does in the UK, she’d just remove her accreditation certificate from her wall, change her stationery, and carry on.

    (continued in next post)

  9. Tony Sidaway says:


    Gender dysphoria is a medical condition and gender reassignment is a broad series of procedures and therapies that may be used to treat extreme cases. It’s still a pretty controversial field but there have been many notable successes–most people I talk to seem to have met at least one transgender individual at some stage of transition. Setting aside rogue clinics which are beyond the reach of regulation, this is a very heavily regulated medical field, and correctly so because gender reassignment cannot be fully reversed.

    So while your question was an interesting one, I think it may have come across as very insensitive.

    Men and women wanting to change sex are generally on the extreme edge of the psychiatric normal spectrum, have extreme distaste for their own genitals, to the point of wishing to mutilate them, and usually have a history of suicidal thoughts.

    (to be continued)

  10. Tony Sidaway says:


    In addition they are uncomfortable in social situations involving a social gender role. But psychiatrists in diagnosing must make sure that there is no underlying disorder that might account for these feelings.

    So to compare this extreme gender-related condition to a sexual attraction for members of the same sex is at least, I hope it’s now clear, to demonstrate considerable ignorance of the field.

    The notion of homosexuality as an illness is now an almost exclusively religious phenomenon, and even then it is restricted to a minority who attribute it to the influence of the devil or even possession by evil spirits. It has no place in any reputable field of therapy, which is why, I imagine, the BACP has set up an inquiry.

  11. Pingback: What to make of the Bishops? | Roger Helmer MEP

  12. themanontheclaphamomnibus says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with your use of the words ‘vile argot’. Vegetarianism is a ‘valid lifestyle choice’. Homosexuality is not. Homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, pansexuality and the rest are ‘valid lifestyle choices’ insofar as having blue eyes or black skin are ‘valid lifestyle choices’. The point is they are not choices at all.

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