Gay people should be accepted not excluded and stigmatised

Myself and others at launch of LGBT Pride North West
1998 I remain proud to have been involved as Co-Chair 
We recently learned that Reparative Therapy events will again be delivered by the Core Issues Trust towards the end of this month, this time at Orangefield Presbyterian Church.

Whilst I still believe that everyone is entitled to the same Human Rights including people from all faiths and none (such as, for example, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion), I am very disappointed that these events will again take place.

Reparative Therapy seeks to change a persons Sexual Orientation from gay to straight and has been condemned as wrong and unnecessary by a wide range of respected organisations such as the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

In an era when people across Northern Ireland increasingly wish to live in a Shared Society based upon respect I find it extremely disturbing that some feel it necessary to hold such events where gay people are disgracefully described and stigmatised as lepers

Rather than focusing on the reasons why people are gay and seeking to change their Sexual Orientation those involved with these events should realise that diversity is strength not a weakness. 

Being gay is good and not something people should seek to 'change' or be ashamed of. We are all different. Gay people should be accepted and embraced without qualification rather than excluded and stigmatised.