Giving the ‘gay cure’ quack a TV platform is an abuse of free speech | Owen Jones

Pimping to the right wing is all part of trying to build audience or fake being fair.


Giving a TV platform to a ‘gay cure’ quack highlights a trend. The idea that free speech guarantees the right to incite hatred of minorities must be resisted

So-called “gay cure therapy” isn’t medicine, science, or indeed therapy: it’s abuse. Medical professionals regard the practice, which sees homosexuality as a fixable “condition”, as scientifically discredited, unethical and harmful. When my first boyfriend came out, aged 15, his parents drove him to a pseudo-scientist to be cured of his homosexuality: consider this against a context of being bullied at school for being gay. Today, he is recovering from crystal meth addiction.

This week, Good Morning Britain provided a platform for a “gay cure” quack named Mike Davidson. “On next we’ll meet the man who claims we can ‘cure’ homosexuality in men,” the show casually tweeted. “Any thoughts?” All of a sudden an abusive practice that inflicts horrendous psychological harm, that is rooted in extreme bigotry, in the very idea that being gay is a bad thing and that gay people should cease to exist, became an opinion worthy of national television. However much Piers Morgan harangued him, Davidson’s presence on air conferred on him a legitimacy he doesn’t deserve. There are different views, after all, on how much the rich should be taxed, or how high the minimum wage should be, or who should own the railways. But whether homosexuality should be erased by an abusive practice treated as a valid alternative perspective? Believing LGBTQ people to be inferior and desiring their disappearance from society is not simply a matter of opinion to be debated. It is bigotry – which causes profound damage to human beings.

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