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Dustin Lance Black says straight conversion therapy would be banned ‘in 24 hours’

Lily Wakefield April 10, 2021
Dustin Lance Black (left) with husband Tom Daley

Dustin Lance Black (left) with husband Tom Daley. (Getty/ David M. Benett)

Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black has said that the UK government is “ignoring” queer people by not bringing in a conversion therapy ban.

Speaking to Reuters from the London home he shares with husband Tom Daley and their two-year-old son, Black said: “This government is ignoring the lives of queer people.

“There is no urgency from this government to protect LGBT+ people.

“We keep hearing, ‘Soon, soon, soon’. Well, I’m so sorry to inform this government that ‘soon’ came and went years ago now.”

It has now been more than two and half years since the Tories pledged in 2018 to “eradicate” the abhorrent practice in the UK as part of their LGBT+ Action Plan.

In March, equalities minister Liz Truss promised to bring forward a conversion therapy ban “shortly”, but still no timeline has been announced.

Three members of the government’s own advisory board on LGBT+ rights recently resigned over the delay, but in response, Boris Johnson claimed that a ban was “technically complex”.

Dustin Lance Black said the government would ban conversion therapy in ’24 hours’ if it targeted straight people.

Dustin Lance Black continued: “I feel fairly certain that if there was a therapy in the United Kingdom that targeted heterosexual people to change something fundamental about them, and that the primary outcome of this therapy was depression, thoughts of suicide and suicide, that it would be banned in 24 hours.

“The government itself did a study on this and still has done nothing.

“They must care very little about LGBT+ people, our self-esteem, our self-confidence.”

The government’s National LGBT Survey found in 2018 that seven per cent of LGBT+ people have been offered or undergone conversion therapy.

Transgender and asexual respondents to the survey were at an even higher risk, with 13 per cent and 10 per cent having been offered or undergone the debunked practice respectively.

Another more recent survey found that nine out of 10 trans and non-binary people who underwent conversion therapy had experienced anxiety and depression as a result, while almost half had attempted suicide.

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