Jardine: Government Must Bring Forward Ban on Gay Conversion Therapy

“For many of us this is a very personal issue, and I find it hugely offensive that conversion therapy is still legally available in 21st Century Britain."

By David Ronald Evans, Feb 06, 2020 4:02

Liberal Democrats at a pride march

Christine Jardine, MP for Edinburgh West and Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson, has  called on the Government to bring forward proposals banning Gay Conversion Therapy.

In 2018, the Government’s LGBT Action Plan promised that it would look at all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting gay conversion therapy.

The Prime Minister also reaffirmed this commitment during the 2019 General election campaign, but so far no concrete proposals have been brought forward.

Conversion therapy has not been offered on the NHS since the 1970s, but a national LGBT survey in 2017 found that 2% of respondents had previously undergone conversion therapy and a further 5% had been offered it. The treatment may be offered through religious bodies, anti-LGBTQ groups and health and social care staff who attempt to have patients suppress their identities while treating the patient for mental health issues.

Today, Ms Jardine tabled a Parliamentary Question to the Equalities Office to find out what plans Minsters have to act on their commitment.

The Lib Dem MP said:

“For many of us this is a very personal issue, and I find it hugely offensive that conversion therapy is still legally available in 21st Century Britain.

“It’s nearly two years since the Government published its 2018 LGBT Action Plan, but we are still waiting for them to take action.

“It’s unacceptable for Ministers to push this into the long grass, with LGBT people continuing to needlessly suffer harm and trauma while we wait for the Government to act.

“It’s vital that the Government brings forward legislative proposals as soon as possible to ban conversion therapy, so that we can finally see an end a practice which is not only offensive but shows a lack of respect for so many of us in the community.”

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