Core Issues Trust: The group whose 'gay cure' film has become a scandal

Core Issues Trust: The group claiming western civilisation is in trouble and people aren't born gay

The Core Issues Trust works with people who don't want homosexual feelings

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Core Issues Trust has been criticised by LGBT campaigners for allegedly promoting a "gay cure," but this stance is nothing new for the controversial group.

The Vue cinema in Piccadilly has cancelled a screening of the Voices of the Silenced, which the Core Issues Trust had booked. The film is about 15 people who claim they used to be gay but are no longer living gay lifestyles, but it has caused anger amongst the LGBT community, who claim it implies there is something wrong with being gay - and that it can be reversed. 

The Core Issues Trust describes itself as a "non-profit Christian ministry supporting men and women with homosexual issues" who want to change their sexual preference.

Whilst the group says it respects the rights of those who identify as gay and wants LGBT people to have dignity, it doesn't support same-sex marriage. The reason for this is because it believes allowing gay people to marry means you believe it's a biological issue and cannot be changed.

On the group's website, it claims that "Western civilisation, it seems to us, is in deep trouble." The group claims people aren't "born gay", and even suggests places of worship are allowing "re-gendering" to be accepted insidiously.

It has four objectives in its work: to advance religion and serve Jesus, to be ambassadors for Jesus, to promote the holy scriptures and to uphold the view that sexual relations outside marriage are against the biblical view and marriage should be between a willing man and a woman.

However it also has a vision which is "to provide support for relationally and sexually damaged and wounded adults who seek wholeness, and desire to walk in obedience to the Gospel of Christ."

The Core Issue Trust offers three types of therapeutic support for those attracted to people of the same sex. These are gay-affirmative therapy, sexual identity therapy and change-oriented therapy, but it says the outcomes for people going through these processes are different.

Whilst they all use different approaches, ultimately they all have the same aim of trying to stop someone feeling attracted to the same sex. But the group says it is up to the individual to decide what goals they want to set as the outcome of the therapy, and it does not treat anyone against their will.

Mike Davidson, the chief executive of the Core Issues Trust, claims to be ex-gay himself and has spoken about his experiences. He claims the first gay sexual experience he had was at bible college with "a visiting professor." Then when he was married and moved to the UK in 1999 from South Africa he went online to make contact with other gay people and meet them. 

The film screening is not the first time the Core Issues Trust has been under scrutiny, in April 2015 it held a conference in London about therapy for gay people called The Transformation Potential Conference.

Gay rights campaigners were outraged by the conference and at the time Stonewall said: “Sexual orientation is not something that can be, nor should be, ‘cured’.

"As long as there are people who are trying to convince others any differently. Our work continues.”

But the biggest controversy the group has been involved in yet centered about a bus advert campaign. The adverts it created said "Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!" It had a similar style to Stonewall's adverts which say "Some people are gay. Get over it!"

Boris Johnson, who was the Mayor of London at the time in 2013, banned the adverts from being put on the sides of buses due to their offensive nature, something the Core Issues Trust claimed was a "politically driven" move.

The matter went to the High Court which ruled whilst the ban was introduced in a "procedurally unfair" way it was right to ban the advert as it could "cause grave offence" to gay people and increase "prejudice and homophobic attacks."