Police Investigate Anglican Bishop Because He Said Some Homosexuals Changed to Heterosexuality

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: November 12, 2003

The Bishop of Chester was investigated by the Cheshire constabulary in November 2003 after he told his local newspaper of research showing that some homosexuals re-orientated to heterosexuality. The police passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service who decided not to prosecute.

On Friday 7th November 2003 a local newspaper quoted the Bishop as saying, "Some people who are primarily homosexual can reorientate themselves. I would encourage them to consider that as an option, but I would not set myself up as a medical specialist on the subject - that's in the area of psychiatric health." The Bishop's statements reflect Christian teaching and the fact that a significant body of research supports the Bishop's comments that some homosexuals can change and become heterosexual through therapy. Indeed the month before the incident a leading pro-gay psychiatrist in the US published his own study showing that homosexuals can change. A complaint was made to the police that the remarks could be considered a 'hate crime' and on the following Sunday, Cheshire Police announced they were investigating the matter. The article was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service and on the Monday the Chief Constable, Peter Fahy, rebuked the Bishop in an astonishing public attack saying that "All public leaders in Cheshire need to give clear leadership on the issue of diversity". He also attempted to link the Bishop's remarks with crimes against homosexuals "generated by hate and prejudice". Read more under