A Cinema in Central London, U.K. has decided to cancel a scheduled premiere of a film about ex-gays and ex-lesbians after a petition claimed that it was promoting a "gay cure."
A screening for "Voices of the Silenced: Experts, Evidences and Ideologies" was supposed to take place at the Vue Cinema at London's Piccadilly Circus on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. But the producers of the film learned later that the event has been scrapped over fears that it contradicts the cinema's "values."
The film was produced by Core Issues Trust, which supports gay men and women "who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression."
Prior to the cancellation, LGBT website Pink News had launched a petition that was signed by more than 600 people.
The website had also accused Core Issues Trust of promoting a "gay cure" and dismissed the notion that people may change anything about their gay identity. It went on to cite English politicians and public figures who have sought to make it illegal for therapists to help patients accomplish their goals as related to leaving homosexuality behind.
Dr. Michael Davidson, the head of Core Issues Trust, denied that his organization considers gay people sick.
"We are not saying that folk identify as gay are sick. What we are about are the rights and freedoms that people need to have respected when they want to move out of unwanted homosexual or other sexual practises - and that's what the film does," he said, according to Premier.
Vue has issued a statement claiming that it was not trying to censor content but said that it has to make a decision to prevent certain activities from taking place in its cinemas in some instances when "we feel that an activity and its associated campaign and content are in direct contradiction with Vue's values."
The cinema also denied that the petition or any media coverage had influenced its decision to cancel the event, noting that it takes "pride in providing inclusive entertainment."
The documentary film highlights the stories of 15 people from across the U.S. and Europe who claimed to have left behind homosexual practices, with the movie emphasizing the struggles the minority group faces in gaining recognition.
The Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Core Issues Trust, is now considering filing an injunction at the High Court, and taking legal action against Vue Cinemas under the 2010 Equality Act.
"Ironically, the actions of PinkNews and Vue cinema illustrate the point of the film. The Voices of the Silenced are, in fact, being silenced," said Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the legal center.