London symposium will consider other side of conversion therapy ban debate

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A major symposium is taking place in London next week to assess the UK government's plans to ban so-called conversion therapy.

The gathering on Tuesday 23 November coincides with the government's consultation on the proposed ban, which symposium co-organiser Christian Concern has warned could see Christian parents criminalised for teaching what the Bible says on human sexuality. 

Special guests at the symposium include members of the ex-LGBT community who will share their testimonies of how counselling and therapy helped them with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said the aim of the symposium was to encourage "rigorous" discussion of the issues and present the other side of the debate. 

"The event will expose how the government's proposals are based on weak science, flawed research and are dangerous for young people," she said. 

"We encourage the media, who often only hear one side of this debate, to come and listen to comprehensive evidence from world-class speakers evidence and decide for themselves."

The international panel of speakers includes psychologist Dr Laura Haynes, sociologist Prof Paul Sullins, researcher and psychologist Dr Christopher Rosik, marriage and family researcher Prof Carolyn Pela, physician Dr Andre Van Mol, academic Dr Walter R Schumm, and pastoral care workers Elizabeth Woning and Ken Williams.

They will consider the scientific basis for the ban and argue that the data and conclusions relied upon to support it are "scientifically flawed", and will harm both adults and children. 

However, the symposium is not intended to be exclusive and those who support the ban are being invited to attend.

Williams added,"This unique and important event will bring together international experts at a crucial moment for Christian freedoms on this issue." 

The symposium is free to attend but registration is required.