Facebook has removed the page of an interdenominational Christian ministry that helps people struggling with unwanted sexual attractions and gender confusion.
The Restored Hope Network said its Facebook page had been removed without notice or explanation by the social media giant.
The organisation’s executive director Anne Paul said the suspension was a “chilling example of viewpoint discrimination”.
“Facebook is deciding they have the authority to silence the stories of those of us whose lives have changed,” she said.
“Their dismissive action – canceling our page as if it never existed, leaving a vague ‘the link may be broken’ message in its place – is shameful.
“Not even extending us the courtesy of a notification, a chance to offer our side of the very politicized story, is unconscionable.”
Paulk believes the suspension is part of a wider campaign by social media platforms to censor organizations helping people with unwanted same-sex attraction.
This form of counselling has been widely dubbed ‘conversion therapy’, but Paulk said this term is a “deliberately and misleadingly provocative term” coined by LGBTQ activists, and does not accurately describe the support offered to men and women struggling with their homosexual desires.
Paulk said the group would continue to support the rights of individuals in seeking help and healing for their feelings.
“Freedom to choose what to do with one’s life – and seek help that one wants – is a dearly held value,” she said.
“People looking for change should be free to find services and resources from counselors, schools, churches and ministries like ours to help them achieve their desired goals.
“We will remain here, fighting for their rights, despite Facebook’s best efforts to muzzle us and disenfranchise them.”
Similar obstacles have been experienced by the Core Issues Trust, a Northern Ireland-based ministry that offers support to people confused about their gender or sexuality.
The non-profit’s Paypal, Mailchimp and Barclays bank accounts were all suspended earlier this year after a hostile Twitter campaign.
Around the same time, Instagram and Facebook started banning posts from the Core Issues Trust’s pages that it claimed promoted ‘conversion therapy’.
A petition calling on Barclays to reinstate their bank account has been signed over 70,000 times.
The British Government is planning to ban conversion therapy. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called it “abhorrent” and said that a study will be conducted into it.
Core Issues Trust founder Mike Davidson recently told Christian Today that a ban would “ride roughshod” over the rights of people who want help.
“Are we really saying that a man who is married and finds himself attracted to the same sex but wants to save his marriage and protect his children is going to be forbidden from receiving help?” he said.
“And what about those who tell us that their feelings for the same sex arose after being sexually abused and they want help with that?
“Are we honestly saying that they cannot receive that help? Because if we are, that is inhumane.”