The Government has responded to a question of what extent gay “conversion” therapy is used, to say it does not know, but that it is “strongly opposed” to the practice.
Responding to a question from Lord Black of Brentwood, Earl Howe, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health, said the Government had “made no estimate” of how much such therapy has been used, but that it was “strongly against” it.
Lord Black asked the Government: “What estimate they have made of the extent of the use of reparative or conversion therapy on homosexual men and women; and what is their policy towards it.”
Earl Howe’s written response, sent today, read: We have made no estimate of the extent of the use of reparative or conversion therapies on gay people. This Government does not believe that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is an illness to be treated or cured. We are therefore strongly against the practice of so called ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy.”
In November last year, the UK Government resisted calls by MPs to introduce statutory regulation of psychotherapists in order to prevent them from being able to carry out gay-to-straight conversion therapy.
The bill will receive its second reading in June.
It was prepared by the leading psychological professional bodies in the UK, at the request of the Department of Health.