You may recall a story I wrote about last year in which the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy suspended and sanctioned psychotherapist Lesley Pilkington for trying to use gay conversion therapy on Patrick Strudwick (pictured), a gay man working undercover.
"The client Pilkington tried to cure was me. I am an out, happily gay man. I was undercover, investigating therapists who practise this so-called conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy) – who try to 'pray away the gay'. I asked her to make me straight. Her attempts to do so flout the advice of every major mental-health body in Britain."
Pilkington is now mounting an appeal against BACP, and guess who's coming to her defense?
Senior figures in the Church of England:
Former archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, Bishop of Chester the Rt Rev Peter Forster, and Bishop of Lewes the Rt Rev Wallace Benn were among signatories to a letter giving support to 60-year-old psychotherapist Lesley Pilkington.
In their letter, the clerics said Ms Pilkington distinguishes "very carefully" between her "non-directive" counselling and the biblical and pastoral counselling she also offers as a Christian.
"We believe that people who seek, freely, to resolve unwanted same-sex attractions hold the moral right to receive professional assistance," they said.
"Whether motivated by Christian conscience or other values, clients, not practitioners, have the prerogative to choose the yardstick by which to define themselves. Not everyone stakes their identity on sexual feelings."