Following the refusal of Queen’s Film Theatre (QFT) and Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) to provide services to Core Issues Trust which sought a private, invitation-only premier screening of “Voices of the Silenced: Experts, Evidences and Ideology” earlier this month, a group will display a protest banner at 13h00 outside the university premises, on Tuesday 13th of March.
This precedes a public screening of the film at Ballynahinch Baptist Church at 7.30pm on the same day.
The protest banner represents the voices of those who see it as their human right to assume and express a sexual identity of their choosing, in this case, “ex-gay”, “post-gay” or simply as one who has moved out of homosexual practices.
The banner display is a peaceful protest concerned that any narrative that declines to celebrate homosexual practices is forbidden in the UK’s public space. Core Issues Trust, a Northern Irish charity, offers therapeutic support to individuals who wish to move out of homosexual practices, and opposes the determination of aggressive gay lobbies wanting to impose a ban on such support.
No scientific evidence has yet been presented by any mental health body in the UK – not even the Royal College of Psychiatrists, nor indeed the American Psychological Association in the USA – showing that such therapeutic or pastoral work is categorically harmful. All therapies and many medical therapies are “potentially harmful” – a phrase used by activists, but likely to mislead the general public.
The Trust calls for regulation, and not banning of individuals working therapeutically and pastorally in this sensitive area. It rejects the dogmatic position that individuals who experience homosexual feelings must take on a gay identity or be forced into gay-affirming therapies as the only support option.
Mike Davidson, CEO of Core Issues Trust said:
“Sexual patterning in human beings is varied and fluid. Sexual expression may take many different forms and may change over time, as do identities. The film “Voices of the Silenced” shows how and why the 15 individuals introduced in the film have experienced exactly that, regardless of who disagrees with them - they have a right to do so, and it would be respectful to listen to them. The cult-like behaviour of those who claim ‘once-gay, always-gay’, saying that gay -identified and practicing folk never change and may not try to do so - even punishing those who do - is intrusive and bullying.”
Having heard nothing further from QFT/QUB, Core Issues Trust will now submit a complaint to the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland against what it calls viewpoint discrimination and refusal of services by Queen’s University to those representing a valid ex-gay minority group.
“Queen’s University is a public body, ostensibly offering services on an equitable basis, promoting access to a variety of film, according to its own policy. It has refused invitations to privately view our film and has discriminated against a view-point without giving valid reasons for doing so. Unlike Asher’s Bakery, a family owned business, operating according to a Christian ethos, which also refused services, QUB is public body that should be held to account for its discriminatory, exclusionary practices. There are double standards being operated in Northern Ireland, and the politicians are all silent” said Davidson.