Christian Charity Loses Access to Banking After LGBT Activists Campaign

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The Christian charity, Core Issues Trust (CIT), said that Barclays informed them that their bank account will be terminated by September. CIT claimed that the move came after pressure from an LGBT social media campaign that targetted the group for allegedly practising “conversion therapy”.

The charity also said that they were removed from Facebook, as well as from Paypal, who “terminated its CIT accounts without warning and with no explanation, restricting the ability of supporters to make donations”.

The CEO of CIT, Mike Davidson told regional newspaper The Belfast News Letter: “If a social media mob can cause a bank to close the account of a Christian ministry, then there is nowhere for Biblically faithful Christian ministries to go.

“The UK is now becoming an intensely intolerant country,” Davidson warned.

Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said: “If it is Core Issues Trust first, it will be churches next… This kind of demonisation and refusing of services to a Christian ministry is reminiscent of how Jewish businesses were treated under Nazi rule.”

The move to refuse banking services may have breached Section 28 of The Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998, the newspaper claimed, which prohibits banks from discriminating in the services they provide.

In response, Barclays said: “We do not comment on individual cases. Our terms and conditions – like other banks – allow us to end a relationship with any customer, provided we give two months’ notice.”

Core Issues Trust said that the organisation’s purpose is to challenge “gender confusion; upholding science and conscience”.

The group says that they attempt to help people who “wish to move away from… gender dysphoria” (gender dysphoria being an NHS-recognised condition where somebody feels discomfort because they believe they belong to a different gender – like a man who says he feels like a woman).”

The Christian charity says that it engages in “one-to-one support for individuals voluntarily seeking to leave homosexual behaviours and feelings” which some characterise as a form of “conversion therapy”.

The CEO of the charity, Mike Davidson, rejected that terminology, telling the lobby group Christian Concern: “This is a pejorative, imposed term, coined by an American gay activist, Dr Douglas Haldeman in 1991, that names some extremes such as electro-shock and aversion techniques only ever conducted by medics, long since abandoned from the 60s, or extreme behaviours already outlawed such as ‘corrective’ rape for which there are no prosecutions in the UK.”

“Because the term speaks of talking therapies and counselling as “pseudo-science” in association with these extremes, to be heard defending talking therapy and counselling for unwanted same-sex attractions is then taken to be a defence of the indefensible ‘Conversion Therapy’ label. We reject this accusatory term,” Davidson added.

Organisations who offer therapy for people who wish to abandon sexual urges have become increasingly a target of activist groups. The pressure has resulted in Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing that his Conservative government will be looking to ban conversion therapy.

“On the gay conversion therapy thing, I think that’s absolutely abhorrent and has no place in a civilised society, and has no place in this country,” said the Prime Minister.

“What we are going to do is a study right now on, you know, where is this actually happening, how prevalent is it, and we will then bring forward plans to ban it,” Johnson went on.

A leading Liberal Democrat leadership candidate and self-described pansexual, Layla Moran, said that Mr Johnson’s “conversion therapy” statements were welcome, but said that urgent government action to end this outdated and harmful practice for good.”

Gendered Intelligence, a trans charity, criticised the Prime Minister for the use of the term “gay conversion therapy”, saying: “Whilst we hope the prime minister used ‘gay conversion therapy’ for brevity, we must ensure the ban on conversion therapy covers all LGBT people, including trans people.”

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka