Commenting on a 'gay conversion therapy' conference backed by some church groups and leaders, Symon Hill, associate director of the religion and society thinktank Ekklesia, said:
"There are many concerns about the conference and the position of the bishops who had signed a letter to the media supporting it.
"The balance of evidence is strongly against the idea that 'conversion therapy' can be effective. Most therapies aim for ends such as emotional well-being and healthy relationships. In contrast, 'conversion therapy' aims to 'cure' a sexual attraction that may be entirely healthy and loving.
"Christians hold varying views on the ethics of same-sex relationships. They sincerely interpret the Bible in different ways. In a changing society, some socially conservative Christians have latched onto sexuality as an issue to fight over.
"It is concerning to see senior clerics encourage this trend by supporting a harmful form of 'therapy' that, at its worst, can break up loving relationships."