16 March 2018
Core Issues Trust Director, Mike Davidson reports on the protests surrounding the Belfast premiere of Voices of the Silenced. (Also published on Christian Concern)
Tuesday 13th March saw the second public screening of the feature documentary film, “Voices of the Silenced”. The film tells the story of 15 individuals moving out of homosexual practices and feelings, and listens to the perspectives of experts from around the world. The documentary was filmed in 8 countries, has contributions in Norwegian, German and Hungarian. It is being translated into 12 languages: German, French, Spanish, Slovakian, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Mandarin, Korean, Ukrainian, Russian and Arabic.
There is clear evidence of a rising movement across the world of individuals and groups who represent an alternative narrative that rejects the normalisation of homosexuality, and imposition of gay-affirming therapies.
Campaigners associated with the production, from Core Issues Trust, Christian Concern and Anglican Mainstream, together with friends from the Netherlands led a protest at Queens University in Belfast. The university had, earlier this month, denied the production a screening venue usually associated with premiere screenings in Northern Ireland, and widely used by LGBTI film makers. No reason has been given for this refusal, and the University and Queen’s Film Theatre remain mute about the matter.
Core Issues Trust will now complain to Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission, which recently pursued Asher’s Bakery, a Christian ethos, family-owned business which had refused to provide a cake for a gay activist wishing to promote gay marriage. Found guilty of discrimination, the case will receive further attention in April when High Court judges will come to Northern Ireland to hear an appeal against the ruling.
Asher’s Bakery should have been supported in its refusal to promote gay ideology. There are clearly double standards operating when a public tax-payer supported body, such as Queen’s University refuses services by not allowing us access to screen a premier, without repercussion, but a targeted baker is punished for refusing services. The Trust had sought a private, invitation-only event to the Queens Film Theatre.
The day culminated in another successful, well-attended screening of the film, the production of which has been supported by Christian Concern. A small protest group assembled outside of the Ballynahinch Baptist Church in disapproval of the film being shown. Although declining the invitation to join the gathering, individuals did offer to give media interviews, and their contribution was welcomed.
Rodney Stout, Senior Pastor of the Ballynahinch Baptist Church described the documentary as “well made” and said:
“I would encourage others to view the film so they too can reach a personally informed opinion regarding its place in a tolerant open society that allows for free speech and support for anyone who feels marginalised however small their minority group may be. Core Issues Trust have a website where people can find links to watch trailers or hire the film for private viewing.”
Those interested in purchasing the English version of DVD, may order a copy here. Those preferring to download a 7-day hire of the movies should register on voicesofthesilenced.tv here. All 40 film participants have stand-alone individual interviews about to be uploaded to voicesofthesilenced.tv, an independent online TV channel associated with the production.
Associated Selected Media
Radio: Radio Tees with Mike Parr 13th March; U105 (Belfast) with Frank Mitchell 15th March; BBC Radio Ulster with Stephen Noland 15th March; U105 (Belfast) with Frank Skinner (Vue Theatre banning) 10th February; BBC Radio 5 Live with Ben Cohen (Pink News) 8th February.
Print (Northern Irish)
Controversial 'Gay Cure' film to Premiere in Northern Ireland Here; Therapy worked for me claims head of Northern Ireland group behind cancelled 'gay cure' film Here; Agree or disagree its nobody elses's business if some try to pray away same-sex attraction says Fionola Meredith Here; Queen's Film Theatre Accused of Censorship in Row of Gay Therapy Film Here; Northern Ireland Man Hits out at Cinema after 'Gay Cure' Film Screening is cancelled Here. Threats to Northern Ireland Church over Screening of 'Gay cure' Film Here.