Bishop's 'psychotherapy for gays' comments not a crime

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The Independent Online

Police will not prosecute a bishop who suggested gay people should seek medical treatment, a spokesman said last night.

The Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester, said in an interview with the Chester Chronicle last Friday: "Some people who are primarily homosexual can reorientate themselves." He added: "I would not set myself up as a medical specialist on the subject, that's in the area of psychiatric health."

Cheshire Constabulary launched an investigation after receiving a complaint about the comments from a member of the public. But a spokesman said: "The issues raised have been examined. The Crown Prosecution Service has been consulted at length, and the Cheshire Constabulary is satisfied that no criminal offences have been committed. Current public order legislation does not provide specific offences based on sexuality."

He said Dr Forster would be spoken to by officers, who would explain the decision.

Dr Forster, who has refused to make any further comments, opposed the appointment of the openly gay Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire.