Boris Johnson is losing his anti-trans ‘culture war’ on all fronts, polling suggests
The majority of Brits want a conversion therapy ban that also includes protections for the trans community, according to an extensive YouGov poll.
The survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Times, of more than 1,800 adults in Great Britain, found there is overwhelming support across age groups, genders, geographical locations and political affiliations for legislation that would ban conversion therapy for both sexual orientation and gender identity.
Overall, two-thirds (65 per cent) of Brits surveyed thought that conversion therapy aimed to change an individual’s sexual orientation should be banned. A similar number (62 per cent) also believed that similar practices seeking to change a person’s gender identity should be banned.
Only 14 per cent said they believed conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer people should not be banned, while 15 per cent did not want to bring forward similar legislation to protect the trans community.
Over a fifth remained unsure about bringing forward legislation banning conversion therapy aimed at a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity (22 per cent and 23 per cent respectively).
There have been claims that the government has chosen to make transgender Conversion Therapy a wedge issue between itself and Labour. If so, this is in spite of the fact that most Tory voters (58%) want to see it bannedhttps://t.co/zAQb7yKygd pic.twitter.com/CO3xyXvbYu
— YouGov (@YouGov) April 12, 2022
When looking closer at the YouGov data, women were more likely to support a ban on conversion therapy with 69 per cent in favour of legislative protections for sexual orientation and 66 per cent for gender identity.
Three in five men (60 per cent) surveyed say conversion therapy attacking an individual’s sexual orientation should be banned, while a slightly similar number (58 per cent) agreed that similar protections should be brought forward for the trans community.
There is also consistently high support across all age groups for legislation banning conversion therapy for sexual orientation with two-thirds (66 per cent) of Brits aged 18 to 24 believing such practices should be banned.
This support remained consistent across older age groups with 63 per cent of 25 to 49-year-olds, 69 of Brits between the ages of 50 and 64 and 63 per cent of those aged over 65.
Britons aged between 18 and 24 showed similar support (66 per cent) for a transgender conversion therapy ban.
However, there was a slight decrease in the number of older Brits who supported such protections with 60 per cent of 25-49-year-olds supporting protections for the trans community. Over two-thirds (67 per cent) of Brits aged 50 to 64 supported a trans conversion therapy ban, while 58 per cent of those aged 65 and older believed the same.
According to the YouGov survey, the people living in the south of England were among the most supportive of legislation banning conversion therapy for sexual orientation (67 per cent) as well as gender identity (63 per cent).
Brits living in the North were consistent with 64 per cent supporting a ban on conversion therapy for sexual orientation and gender identity.
A similar number of people living in London (63 per cent); the Midlands and Wales (63 per cent); and Scotland (63 per cent) supported a ban on conversion therapy seeking to change a person’s sexual orientation.
There were slight differences in these regions when it came to the support for similar legislation protecting the trans community with 62 per cent of people in London; 60 per cent in the Midlands and Wales; and 58 per cent in Scotland.
— TransHealthNow (@DadTrans) April 12, 2022
It looks like Boris Johnson has misjudged the public mood for his latest culture war https://t.co/BuTz7BRF97
— David Beckett (@iamdavidbeckett) April 12, 2022
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) April 12, 2022
The survey’s results come as no surprise as mass protests broke out over the weekend calling for the government to include trans people in a proposed ban on conversion therapy. At least 3,000 people attended a protest near Downing Street in London, according to ITV.
More than 200 people gathered in Belfast city centre also calling for the inclusion of trans people in the conversion therapy ban, Belfast Live reported.
On Monday (11 April), an online petition to “ensure trans people are fully protected under any conversion therapy ban” surpassed the 100,000 signature threshold for it to be debated in parliament.
The petition has now been signed more than 123,600 times, with more people adding their signatures by the minute.
The mass action comes as the government plans to backtrack on years of promises and go ahead with a ban on conversion therapy for cisgender queer people – but will not offer the same vital protections to trans people.
However, Boris Johnson has defended the Tory government’s move and claimed there are “complexities and sensitivities” in bringing forward legal protections for the trans community against conversion therapy.
But the devolved governments seemingly do not share Johnson’s stance on the issue with both Wales and Scotland promising to bring forward a trans-inclusive conversion therapy ban.