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Posted by James O'Brien on January 30, 2012 at 15:09PM

There are exceptions to every rule - indeed, it's the former that proverbially prove the latter. And so it was today.

The curious case of apparently heterosexual Christians (and, of course, adherents to other faiths) getting their knickers in a right old twist about homosexuality is as old as the hills.

Oddly, it doesn't automatically lend itself to compelling radio because to combat the "Because God says so" refrain you have to be either supremely confident of what does and does not constitute 'religious offence' and/or be at least as au fait with the scripture as your interlocutor.

Rarely has this observation seemed more pertinent than it does today. Talking to Lesley Pilkington, who believes she can 'convert' homosexuals (although she doesn't like the word 'convert'), must rank among the strangest experiences of my broadcasting career.

There was an almost perfect symmetry to her position: some gay people are desperately unhappy about their proclivities and attractions so we offer to help them 'feel' differently. It would be wrong not to help people who are so demonstrably unhappy.

Of course, it completely overlooks the fact that the unhappiness only exists because of the disapproval and the disapproval is common (though not exclusive) to the religious. In other words the best way to address homosexual unhappiness would be to shoot down the people who cause it - not to give the very same people an opportunity to 'cure' gays.

Only one thing is certain: I could have talked to her for weeks, matched her Biblical reference for Biblical reference and cited several million people who reject absolutely the notion that their sexuality is negotiable or reversible. And she wouldn't have budged an inch.