'Gay cure' conference cancelled after 13,000 sign petition

Core Issues is the organiser of the event "exploring unwanted same-sex attractions" Credit: Core Issues

A 'gay cure' conference due to be held in London next week has been cancelled after more than 13,000 people signed a petition for it to be banned.

But a similar event is going ahead today. The event - organised by Christian group Core Issues describes itself as "An interactive conference event exploring unwanted same-sex attractions" and runs at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster until 6pm.

The cancelled event, Holy Sexuality Conference, organised by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, was set to take place in Marylebone next week.

Human rights activist Omar Kuddus, who launched a petition to ban the Holy Sexuality event, said: “You don’t expect two gay cure conferences to take place in London at all, especially in the same week. I find it diabolical someone representing the group is allowed to preach hate in England. At the end of the day that is what conversion therapy is - sexuality is not a choice."

A Stonewall spokeman said: “Sexual orientation is not something that can be, nor should be, ‘cured’. “And as long as there are people who are trying to convince others any differently – our work continues.”

A UKIP General Election candidate was due to be speaking at the conference today but was asked to stand down by organisers.

Alan Craig, candidate for Brent North, was scheduled to address the Transformation Potential: Unwanted Same-Sex Attractions: Is Change Possible? conference but Mike Davidson, trust director, said he didn't want the event to be associated with any one political party.

UKIP defended Mr Craig's right to free speech but said the candidate was "not representative" of the party's view on the matter.

Mr Craig, a former leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance, has described gay marriage on his website as an "an empty - if destructive - charade".