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Christian counsellor targeted by homosexual journalist

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Issued on behalf of Christian Legal Centre

Press Release

For Immediate Release

16 January 2011

Christian counsellor targeted by homosexual journalist

NEXT Thursday (20 JAN), a Christian counsellor will be summoned before a Professional Conduct Panel for giving therapy to a homosexual man who pretended to be a Christian wishing to change his sexual orientation.

Lesley Pilkington, a counsellor with over 20 years experience, is defending herself against a formal complaint by Patrick Strudwick, a homosexual journalist who secretly recorded two therapy sessions with Mrs. Pilkington.  Mr Strudwick published an inaccurate account of the sessions in the Independent [*] and has since received the award of Journalist of the Year by the homosexual-rights organisation Stonewall.

The freelance journalist met the counsellor at a Christian conference, acting undercover.  He told Lesley that he wanted to leave his homosexual lifestyle and wanted help to change.  Mrs Pilkington confirmed that she would be happy to meet with him, but only within a Christian counselling context.  Shortly after the conference, the journalist made contact and said he thought that they were on the same wavelength, and asked for an appointment.

Throughout the two therapy sessions, the undercover journalist repeatedly told the counsellor that he wanted to leave his homosexual lifestyle, that it had become meaningless to him, and that he wanted to change. 

However, after the sessions, Mr Strudwick lodged a complaint to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, alleging that Lesley Pilkington had tried to force her beliefs on him, thus breaching the principle of patient autonomy.

Those offering counselling for homosexual orientation have been increasingly targeted by the homosexual lobby, many of whom do not accept that people can change their sexual behaviour.  Since writing the article, the freelance journalist has become a campaigner against those offering such treatments, and has organised protests at various religious conventions.  He has stated in interviews that no-one can change their sexual orientation and that attempts to do so are extremely harmful. 

However, in 2006, the homosexual rights activist Peter Tatchell wrote in the Guardian: “Much as I would love to go along with the fashionable "born gay" consensus (it would be very politically convenient), I can't. The evidence does not support the idea that sexuality is a fixed biological given.”

Lesley Pilkington is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (“CLC”). 

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the CLC said:

“Lesley is a wonderful, highly professional Christian counsellor, who has practised for many years with an unblemished record.  When a young man asked for help to change his behaviour, she was happy to give it. Rather than breaching his autonomy, Lesley provided exactly what was asked of her. It is shocking that she was targeted, lied to and misrepresented by this homosexual activist and even worse that her professional body consider her actions worthy of investigation.

“It seems that what the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy object to is Lesley Pilkington holding the professional and personal view that sexual orientation is not fixed.  Many people have come forward to say that they have stopped the practice of homosexuality and many well respected professionals also believe that ‘change is possible’, yet when this is the basis on which Lesley offered therapy, she is hauled before her professional body.

“We are standing by Lesley and believe that in a civilised society, therapy should remain freely available for those who wish to change their homosexual behaviour, without the fear of intimidation and threats by the homosexual lobby.”

The Christian Legal Centre will help Lesley argue that there is a great misconception in our law that sexual orientation is fixed like race, when in fact it is a lifestyle choice.

Mrs Williams added: “When a therapist believes in good faith that a person can change his or her lifestyle she should be free to offer her expertise without the fear of the loss of her job or professional credentials.  The equalities and anti-discrimination agendas are undermining the freedom of individuals to choose to change their lifestyles. These laws are leading to the elimination of a fundamental human right.


For further information:

For further information contact:

Andrea Minichiello Williams 07712 591 164

Editor’s Note

The Independent Article referred to here [*] can be accessed here:


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