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ITV show Good Morning Britain has faced an angry backlash for giving a platform to an advocate of “gay cure” therapy.
Dr Mike Davidson, who claims he was “cured” of homosexuality through prayer, took part in a heated argument with presenter Piers Morgan on the programme on Tuesday morning.
While Morgan openly challenged Dr Davidson on the programme, many viewers vented their anger that the controversial doctor was even featured.
Viewers on social media slammed his outing as “irresponsible”, while LGBT rights charity Stonewall said his appearance was “dangerous” as it gives “validity to the debate”.
Labour MP Wes Streeting was also among those to criticise ITV’s decision to feature the controversial doctor.
Dr Davidson accused Morgan of being “malevolent and dangerous” in rejecting his views, before he was shut down as a “bigot” by the outspoken host.
He said in the furious exchange: “I believe that people are not born gay, that they come into homosexual feelings, and that it is something that in some cases is reversible for people who want to make that the trajectory of their lives.
“It’s inconsistent with some people’s value systems and they want to be true to themselves.
“I think we’re here today because there’s clearly a population group who feel they are not comfortable with homosexual expression, and they want out of it.”
Morgan then asked him: “You know what we call these people? We call them horrible little bigots in the modern world.
“Bigoted people who talk complete claptrap and, in my view, a malevolent and dangerous part of our society. What’s the matter with you? Stop talking for a moment. Stop banging on.”
Comedian Julian Clary appeared soon after Mr Davidson left the set, telling Morgan it was a “shame you gave him airtime”.
But Morgan defended his appearance, saying these people “need to be challenged”.
A spokeswoman for Stonewall said: “It is difficult to understand the motivation for exploring the topic of same-sex conversion now when two years ago a host of professional bodies publicly condemned the practice.
“Good Morning Britain’s editorial approach is damaging as it consistently suggests that there is a debate to be had about the validity of identities and experiences. At Stonewall we are fighting for acceptance and understanding of people’s differences.”
ITV was blasted on social media for inviting Mr Davidson for an interview.
Ash Sarkar posted on Twitter: “Bigotry, injustice & oppression are reproduced when media presents an entirely discredited form of psychological abuse as worthy of airtime.”
One Twitter user, known only as Rys, posted: “Disgusting to see @GMB are giving gay “cure” therapy airtime. Incredibly irresponsible and damaging.”
Lucy prof said: “Why are you giving someone like this a platform for their ridiculous ideas?”
On Monday, Good Morning Britain came under fire after Mr Morgan attacked trans L’Oreal model Munroe Bergdorf for her views on racism.
Bex Stinson said: “First @GMB attacks #trans people. Now they’re giving air time to gay cure therapy. What a disgusting anti #LGBT onslaught. Shame on you.”
A Good Morning Britain spokesman said: “Dr Michael Davidson was robustly challenged by the Good Morning Britain presenters about his views on homosexuality on the programme.”
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