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Billie Frank

UK Government announced it has ditched plans to ban conversion therapy in England & Wales then instantly U-Turns...

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Edit: See first reply.

 

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Plans to ban so-called conversion therapy in England and Wales have been abandoned by the government. According to NHS England, conversion therapy tries to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. The ban was announced in the Queen's Speech in May 2021. But a government spokesperson said it had instead "decided to proceed by reviewing how existing law can be deployed more effectively". It would also explore "other non-legislative measures" to prevent conversion therapy, they added.

But Labour's Anneliese Dodds tweeted that it was an "outrageous decision". "A government that believes conversion therapy is acceptable in 21st Century Britain is no friend of the LGBT+ community," the shadow women and equalities secretary said. And Liberal Democrat equalities spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said it was "giving the green light to a form of torture in the UK". "This is an utter betrayal of the LGBT+ community."

Jayne Ozanne, chair of the #BanConversionTherapy coalition and conversion therapy survivor told the BBC that the news "emboldens perpetrators and allows them to act with impunity". "It lets them know that the government is on their side and does not want to hold them to account," she said. She called it a betrayal of those who bravely told their stories in the hope the prime minister would act. "I do not understand why he is throwing young LGBT people under the bus," she said.

In 2018, Theresa May's government promised to end conversion therapy as part of its LGBT equality plan. The promise was bought forward by Boris Johnson. In July 2020, he said the practice was "absolutely abhorrent" and "[had] no place in this country". In May 2021, the Queen's Speech reiterated that measures would be "bought forward" to ban the practice. Liz Truss, in her role as minister for women and equalities, said after the monarch's speech: "As a global leader on LGBT rights, this government has always been committed to stamping out the practice of conversion therapy." But she also stated that the ban would only happen following a consultation seeking "further views from the public and key stakeholders". 

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Edit: It has since been announced that Boris has seemly changed his mind and will now be going ahead with the original plans. 

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The Prime Minister has changed his mind off the back of the reaction to our report and he WILL now ban conversion therapy after all. Senior Govt source absolutely assures me it’ll be in Queen’s Speech. But only gay conversion therapy, not trans.

I'm told that the Prime Minister was shifted by the strength of reaction from Conservative MPs and ministers when they saw the story break. But he has removed trans conversion therapy from the equation and is insisting any bill must not have 'unintended consequences'.

One Conservative MP tells me: “I sent the PM a message directly saying I was ashamed. And lots of other colleagues have too.” It seems to have worked.

Sources suggest 60 MPs lobbied the Prime Minister following our story. I can’t verify that but the strength of reaction was extraordinary from the backbenches. I’m assured PM will commit on camera to a ban if asked. So, let’s ask him and see.

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Why not the full monty and ban all therapy on sexualality, this government, I can't

Edit: See first reply.   X

Edit: It has since been announced that Boris has seemly changed his mind and will now be going ahead with the original plans.  X


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