Mal O’Hara welcomes QFT decision on gay conversion film

Friday March 9 2018

Green Party rep Mal O’Hara has welcomed the decision of the QFT not to show a controversial film that promotes gay conversion therapy.

The North Belfast rep said it is entirely up to the QFT what films it chooses to show and it has every right to turn down private showings if it wishes.

“I am glad the theatre has chosen not to screen this dubious film, which promotes the very dangerous of conversion therapy. This is not, as the group behind this bid claims, an alternative viewpoint but promotion of a practice that damages gay people,” he said.

“The NHS, the Royal College of GPs and the British Psychological Society have all warned that the practice of conversion therapy, whether in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity, is unethical and potentially harmful.

“Indeed, even the Church of England has recently called for this practice to be banned.

“It is also ludicrous for these people to claim that a refusal to screen the film amounts to censorship. The film has already been screened elsewhere in the UK and the group behind it have been given ample opportunity to air their views.

“The fact is that the QFT is a very respected Belfast organisation with an excellent track record of showing high-quality, alternative and challenging films. It should not be blackmailed into airing any film that could fail to meet its standards and could endanger its reputation.

“Being lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender is perfectly normal and healthy. Negative societal attitudes toward minority orientation or gender identity can contribute to some people struggling to accept themselves.  If anyone struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity we would encourage them to access non directive queer affirming counselling at The Rainbow Project,” Mr O’Hara said.

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