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Keir Starmer criticised for visiting anti-LGBTQ+ church

Rachel Badham April 6, 2021

UK Labour leader Keir Starmer has come under fire after visiting Jesus House, a church known for its anti-LGBTQ+ views, and referring to it as a “wonderful example of a church serving their community”. MP Kate Osborne said she was “very disappointed” at Starmer’s actions, and pointed out that the church has “a history of supporting conversation therapy and general intolerance towards LGBTQ+ people.”

Many others criticised Starmer, with LGBTQ+ activist, author and journalist James Ball calling it “offensive”, adding: “It takes *one Google search* to see Jesus House’s homophobic ties – because Theresa May had that issue when she visited. Which suggests either total incompetence by staff, which should merit a sacking, or that someone decided Starmer should offer some nudge/wink support for homophobia.”

LGBT+ Labour addressed the situation, saying it has received an “unreserved apology” and “will be urgently meeting with them next week to ensure this does not happen again and that LGBTQ+ equality is embedded in everything that Labour does.” It also said LGBT+ Labour members still remain “satisfied” that Starmer is “determined to ban conversion therapy and achieve equality for LGBTQ+ people.”

Starmer has since apologised and removed the video of himself visiting Jesus House, saying: “I completely disagree with Jesus House’s beliefs on LGBTQ+ rights, which I was not aware of before my visit.”

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