Theresa May has appointed an anti-LGBT MP with ‘gay cure’ links to the government.
This Prime Minister has been reshuffling her front bench after losing its majority in parliament in the June 8 General Election.
While negotiating a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – a Northern Irish party which opposes LGBT rights – May appointed John Glen as Minister for Civil Society.
The Salisbury MP previously refused to cut ties with a ‘gay cure’ charity and strongly opposed same-sex marriage.
Mr Glen will now be in charge of government policy and support for charities and community projects.
The new minister is a long-time supporter of the Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) charity, who funded a gay cure conference in London in 2009.
The charity backed the conference which discussed “therapeutic approaches to and understandings of same-sex attraction” and “mentoring the sexually broken”.
It also hosted the late Joseph Nicolosi, inventor of the modern practicse of ‘gay cure therapy’, as a keynote speaker.
Mr Glen refused to condemn CARE’s conference, and refused to stop accepting interns from the Christian charity.
Despite a number of other MPs ending their links with the organisation following its event, Glen claimed he was being “bullied” by LGBT campaigners.
The Christian MP, who began his career as a CARE intern, also voted against the Marriage (Same-Sex) Couples Act at second and third reading, and lambasted the Bishop of Salisbury for supporting the equality legislation.
He will now be a key figure in deciding government policy on charities as an Under-Secretary in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Steve Reed, Labour’s shadow civil society minister, told PinkNews: “It is shocking that a Government Minister has links with an organisation promoting the idea that gay people are sick and can be ‘cured’.
“John Glen must immediately disassociate himself from this offensive slur.
“As Minister for Civil Society, John Glen is in charge of Government policy for civil society in all its rich diversity.
“He must repudiate CARE and other groups that fuel hatred and intolerance and apologise for his past association with them.”
“I’m not going to back down on something I think is the right thing to do.”
PinkNews has contacted John Glen for comment.
It comes as May is attempting to form an agreement with the anti-LGBT DUP.
Arlene Foster’s ultra-conservative party has previously supported the introduction of a ‘conscience clause’ to protect religious people who want to discriminate against anyone who is LGBT.
This means LGBT people could be refused service or turned down for jobs simply because of their sexuality or gender.
The DUP also stalled progress on equal marriage in Northern Ireland, attempted to retain a lifetime ban on gay men giving blood, and opposed same-sex couples adopting children.
Foster’s party will now be in a formal agreement with the government to implement its programme.