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One candidate and one standing MP up for re-election for the Conservative Party have been found to support “gay cure” churches. Kirsty Adams, standing against an openly gay MP in the Brighton area (of all places), has a controversial background:

A parliamentary candidate contesting a marginal seat for the Tories has been linked with a church which has been accused of attempting to “cure” LGBT people.

Kirsty Adams is standing in Hove and Portslade, near Brighton, a constituency with a large LGBT population.

Ms Adams attended the evangelical Kings’ Arms Church in Bedfordshire for many years, according to the Buzzfeed website. A 2010 investigation by The Observer exposed the church’s attempts to “cure” gay and transgender members by driving out their “demons” through prayer.

Speaking out about her ‘treatment’ at Kings’ Arms, one transgender teenager told the newspaper that a member of the Church tried to convince her she was “demonically possessed”.

The woman also described church leaders “praying over me, calling out the demons. She really believed things like homosexuality, transsexualism and addiction could be fixed just by prayer, all in the name of Jesus.”

As well as being a member of the congregation, Ms Adams gave speeches on behalf of the Church at events in 2009 and 2010.

In one of these speeches, she claimed to have healed a deaf man with her bare hands by channelling the power of prayer.

Her husband was also a director of the Church between 2010 and 2013, according to Companies’ House records.

The constituency is currently represented by Labour MP Peter Kyle, who is gay.

Eastbourne, just down the road, has a sitting MP who seems to be a carbon copy. Metro today reported:

A Tory hoping to be reelected in a marginal seat accepted donations from an organisation which funds controversial gay ‘cure’ therapy.

Caroline Ansell, who won Eastbourne with a majority of 733 in 2015, had an intern, for four days a week, funded by the anti-LGBT Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) charity.

The registers of MP’s interests show Ansell accepted the CARE intern in September 2016, who will remain in post until July 2017, which the equivalent of an £8,470 donation.

In 2009 CARE bankrolled a London conference for therapists and clergy to learn how to convert LGBT people to heterosexuality.

When CARE’s role in the event was revealed in 2012, many of the 20 MPs who had accepted interns, including Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, distanced themselves from the organisation and promised not to receive further interns.

Ansell is also a member of the evangelical Kings Church in Eastbourne, which is part of the same group of anti-LGBT equality churches as the King’s Arms Church in Bedfordshire, which previously attempted to ‘cure’ and cast ‘demons’ out of gay and transgender people.

In 2012, the Guardian reported the charity as funding 20 MPs interns. Just another reason not to vote Conservative, it seems.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...