Christopher Doyle, a “former homosexual”, co-founded the “ex-gay” group Voice of the Voiceless. (Voice of the Silenced/ YouTube)
Evangelical anti-LGBT+ Christians are fuming after Facebook confirmed that it would ban advertising for conversion therapy on the social media platform.
Facebook confirmed on Friday, July 10, that as part of a push to expand its hate speech policies, it will take down content deemed to be promoting the traumatic practice.
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, also said last week that it would pull down content from the UK-based Core Issues Trust, a group that promotes debunked theories that gay people can be cured.
In a statement to CNN, Instagram’s Tara Hopkins said: “We don’t allow attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity and are updating our policies to ban the promotion of conversion therapy services.”
But anti-LGBT+ evangelicals are convinced that the ban on conversion therapy advertising is an “assault on free speech and religious liberty”.
Christopher Doyle is the executive director of the Institute for Healthy Families, which describes itself as a “non-profit therapeutic organization” which “specializes in sexual/ gender identity affirming therapy, and works with clients and families all over the world who experience sexual and/or gender identity conflicts”.
Doyle, a “former homosexual”, also co-founded the “ex-gay” group Voice of the Voiceless which says its mission it “to defend the rights of former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction, and their families”.
He said that he founded the group “simply because of the invasion of homosexual activism within the secular American society”.
He strongly objects to Facebook and Instagram’s ban on conversion therapy advertising, and told the Christian Post: “While the company claims they are taking this action to prevent discrimination towards the LGBT community, the real people they are hurting are those who experience unwanted sexual and gender identity conflicts and are seeking options for healing and ethical, licensed therapy.
“Everyone should have the right to seek help for unwanted attractions or sexual/gender conflicts without interference, and public companies should not be able to discriminate the views of some they may disagree with for political purposes.”
Conversion therapy is often compared to torture and has been linked to higher risks of depression, suicide, and drug addiction.
A UK survey conducted last year found that one in five people who had been through conversion therapy later attempted suicide.