Boris Johnson urged again, by yet more experts, to get on with conversion therapy ban

Lily Wakefield June 29, 2021
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Conversion therapy ban in the UK must include trans people, MPs say

Boris Johnson. (Christopher Furlong/WPA Pool /Getty)

At a Downing Street Pride reception hosted by Boris Johnson, the prime minister will be told by experts, yet again, that he must urgently ban conversion therapy in the UK.

Amnesty International UK said it would tell the prime minister that he must ban the dangerous and debunked practice “without delay”.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland programme director head of nations and regions at Amnesty International UK, who will attend the reception, said in a statement: “So-called conversion therapy can constitute torture or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment – it has no place in our society.

“We are urging ministers to introduce a blanket ban on conversion therapy without delay, a ban we want to see replicated in all parts of the UK.”

While the UK flounders over banning conversion therapy, Johnson said in April this year that a ban on the horrific practice would not apply to adults who seek “pastoral support” from religious institutions.

Corrigan continued: “’Praying the gay away’ is just as unacceptable as any other pseudoscientific approach which tells LGBTI+ people they are ‘sick’ and ‘broken’.

“It’s time to stamp out this hideous practice once and for all.”

Almost exactly three years since the Conservative government committed to banning conversion therapy as part of its 2018 LGBT+ action plan, a ban has still failed to materialise.

A UK conversion therapy ban was finally confirmed during the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament on 11 May, but the Government Equalities Office said that legislation would only be advanced following a public consultation process.

The consultation will look at how to “ensure that the ban can address the practice while protecting the medical profession; defending freedom of speech; and upholding religious freedom”.

There have been no announcements from the Government Equalities Office on when this consultation will begin, or how long it will take.

Related topics: Boris Johnson, conversion therapy

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