Northern Ireland University Refuses to Show Documentary on Ex-Gay Christians
The Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has denied a Christian ministry's request to screen a new documentary featuring the testimonies of people who have left homosexuality.
The film features interviews with 15 people "emerging out of homosexual lifestyles." The film also shows interviews with 18 experts, some of whom "explode the myth of neutral secularism and expose its dangers for society broadly and for Christians specifically."
According to the Christian nonprofit, it wasn't given an exact reason why it couldn't show the documentary at Queen's Film Theatre. However, the university's response suggests that the film doesn't match its idea of inclusivity.
"The mission of the Queen's Film Theatre is to widen access to film through the delivery of a varied program that actively encourages appreciation, enjoyment, debate and understanding," Joan Parsons, head of Queen's Film Theatre, reportedly told Core Issues Trust. "In addition, the QFT is committed, through its approved program, to continue to promote and respect equality, diversity and inclusion."
The school's rejection did not sit well with Core Issues Trust CEO Mike Davidson, who was gay at one point in his life.
"Clearly in Northern Ireland, in line with the rest of the U.K., Christian freedom is restricted to freedom of worship alone. It is an illusion to believe that Christians have freedom of religion or even freedom of conscience," Davidson said. "If it is up to the politicians and the leaders of our institutions, Christian values have no place in the public space, which is reserved for the dogmatic religion of secularism, and promotion of LGBT values which alone define diversity and inclusiveness."
This is not the first time that the Core Issues Trust film has been rejected by a prospective venue.
Last month, The Christian Post reported that Vue Cinemas canceled a showing of "Voices of the Silenced" at a theater in central London after over 600 people signed a petition calling on the theater to drop the showing.
According to the United Kingdom-based Christian Legal Centre, outrage from the LGBT community was driven by a PinkNews, which reported that Core Issues Trust advocates for a "gay cure."
"Ironically, the actions of PinkNews and Vue cinema illustrate the point of the film," Andrea Williams, CEO of the United Kingdom-based Christian Legal Centre, told Premier last month. "'The Voices of the Silenced' are, in fact, being silenced."
According to the organization's website, Core Issues Trust is a nonprofit Christian ministry that supports "men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression."
In his statement, Davidson argued that a homosexual identity "appears now to be mandatory for those experiencing the feelings."
"It seems there may be no dissent; gay identity must be affirmed and there is no debate to be had about the matter," Davidson said. "But this is exactly why the politics of sexuality are unsustainable and will unravel."