Posted by Dr Mike Davidson on 30th July 2020
Jayne Ozanne’s influential NSS survey was totally invalidated by some fatal flaws such as the fact that 52% of the participants were LGBT. To be representative of the population it should have been about 2%, a clear indication that many were her camp followers, who knew which boxes to tick.
Presumably to strengthen the case for her key objective - a therapy ban - she has now commissioned a second survey, carrying the legitimacy of being conducted by YouGov. The survey asks only a single question
“Do you think ‘Conversion Therapy’, where people seek to change someone’s sexual orientation, sexual behaviour or gender identity, should or should not be banned?”
The answer given by all the different categories of respondent, except by the smallest of margins Evangelical Christians, is an overwhelming ‘Yes.’
This is not surprising in the light of two important factors. First, the question and response are not based on any scientific evidence or discussion and are merely a measure of the zeitgeist. It is quite likely that public opinion is being fairly reflected here. But secondly, for many years the public have been drip fed a diet of claimed facts that are simply untrue. Most blatant of all is the myth that people are ‘born gay’ and cannot change. This has now been debunked at the highest level: Lisa Diamond, co-editor-in-chief of the APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology, and herself a practising lesbian, has said that Born Gay is dead.
So what is the significance of the Ozanne YouGov study? In 1977 Malcolm Macourt set out his vision in a book entitled Towards a Theology of Gay Liberation:
“I suppose that the society to which they [lesbian and gay people] aspire is one in which young people, as they grow up, will become aware of a wide variety of life patterns: monogamy - multiple partnerships; partnerships for life – partnerships for a period of mutual growth; same-sex partners – opposite-sex partners – both ...”
The Ozanne study furthers those aims, which penetrate into not only the Church but the whole of our culture. Is this vision to be achieved on our watch?
It would be easy to miss the chilling implications of Ozanne’s definition of Conversion Therapy. ‘People seek to change a person’s sexual orientation …’. This translates in many people’s minds into unethical treatment by wicked therapists who force their poor victims into unwilling submission; the word ‘torture’ is even sometimes used. But in ethical therapy it is the client rather than other people who determines the goals and modus operandi of the therapy. And it is ‘talking therapy’. This model is far from the caricature implied by Jayne’s model in which the drivers of the process are ‘people’ rather than the client.
If we take a not-uncommon example of a different type, imagine a happy family of father, mother and children. Something strange is happening, though: the father is falling in love with another man and it is causing distress to his family. He goes to a therapist who gives him talk therapy and helps him get his life together again. He is delighted. His wife is content. His children are relieved. But the therapist is in gaol. Where is the justice in this|? And what precedent does it set for the years ahead?
 M Macourt, Towards a Theology of Gay Liberation, SCM Press (2007), p25