The Catholic Church in Scotland must end its support for Courage International. Conversion therapy is torture - help us end it!
Conversion therapy is the attempt to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including attempts to suppress someone’s sexuality or gender. It is an abhorrent practice carried out and supported by people who believe LGBTQ+ people have a sickness that ought to be “cured”. Conversion therapy has been condemned by the United Nations, the NHS, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and all major UK medical and psychotherapy organisations. Conversion therapy is torture.
Courage International is an official apostolate of the Catholic Church which promotes conversion therapy. They promote the idea that same-sex attraction is “objectively disordered” and “immoral”; they call on LGBTQ+ people to live chaste lives and suppress their sexuality or gender identity. Scotland has one of the world’s highest concentrations of Courage chapters, with chapters across four dioceses and archdioceses. By providing a platform to Courage International, the Catholic Church in Scotland is legitimising a form of torture and abuse.
Courage say they promote “chastity-based therapy”; by calling LGBTQ+ people sinful, immoral and disordered and asking them to refuse a core part of their humanity, Courage are trying to stop LGBTQ+ people from living healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. Courage are taking advantage of vulnerable people questioning their sexuality or gender and telling them that who they are is unnatural and ought to be denied.
All the evidence is clear: conversion therapy does not work. There is no proof that conversion therapy, like that done by Courage, can reduce same-sex attraction and ample evidence that it leads to serious, longlasting psychological harm, including PTSD, addiction issues, depression and suicide.
It is time for the Catholic Church in Scotland to oppose conversion therapy and end the hosting, promotion and management of Courage International in Scotland.