The ex-gay LIFE ministry, in New York City, teaches gays and lesbians that their sexual orientation is sinful and must be changed.

Homosexuality is a psychological, emotional and spiritual disorder that can be overcome with prayer, deliverance and counselling, it says. It often comes with demons attached, according to leader Joanne Highley; if you’ve had any form of immoral sex, evil spirits have infected any cavity that has received an ungodly deposit of semen, whether it’s the mouth, the anus or another orifice. Once you’ve confessed the sin of homosexuality, your repentance is a process that ends with complete healing of all your gay desires. The journey involves breaking off all contact with gay friends, as they were never true friends in the first place.

LIFE is not the kind of ministry you get involved with, as a church, without some knowledge of just how extreme its message and its ministry really are.

In the Guardian‘s Comment is free today, I shed light on a major Liverpool church whose ex-gay ministry has its origins in LIFE. Joanne Highley visited the city multiple times to help establish it — and the connection is troubling.

Read: How Liverpool’s Frontline Church ‘Struggles’ with Homosexuality

Categorized in: