A leading member of the Church of England who believes some gay people can be counselled to suppress or possibly change their sexual orientation is helping to select the next archbishop of Canterbury.
Glynn Harrison, emeritus professor of psychiatry at Bristol University, is on the Crown Nominations Commission, which will recommend a successor to Rowan Williams, to be approved by the prime minister and the Queen. His role on the 16-strong commission has alarmed some liberal Anglicans who fear it could deepen divisions over homosexuality in a church riven by the issues of holding gay civil ceremonies in churches and the consecration of gay bishops.
In a statement through the church, Harrison stated that he did not believe in a "gay cure" and had himself never offered formal counselling or therapy.
The Rev Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude, the campaign for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the Anglican communion, said Harrison's position on the commission appeared "cranky in the extreme".