We’re pleased the UK Government has announced that a proposed ban on conversion therapy will include sexual orientation and gender identity.
It’s a change in direction from a year ago, when inadequate proposals published for public consultation would not have protected trans people from conversion therapy.
The latest updates ahead of a proposed draft bill are a significant and positive shift towards an inclusive ban that will protect everyone at risk of harm from this unethical practice.
They’re in line with what ourselves and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) group have been asking for from the Government.
We’re strongly opposed to any misuse of therapy to try to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Without fear of judgement
Sexual orientations and gender identities are not mental health disorders. Anyone accessing therapy should be able to do so without fear of judgement or the threat of being pressured to change a fundamental aspect of who they are.
Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport , outlined the next steps of the legislative process for a ban on conversion therapy in England and Wales in a written ministerial statement.
A draft bill will be published this parliamentary session and then undergo scrutiny from a Joint Committee before it becomes law.
We will hold the Government to account so that any proposed ban is effective, workable and in line with the MoU, of which we’re a member.
We also want to ensure it does not lead to unintended consequences around therapists’ ability to work with gender and sexually diverse clients, including children and young people exploring their gender identity.
Continue to campaign
There is still a long way to go until the draft bill becomes law, but we’ll continue to campaign on behalf of our members and clients for an inclusive and effective ban on conversion therapy.
Proposals for a ban on conversion therapy are being considered separately in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
In 2021, politicians in Northern Ireland passed a non-binding motion calling for a ban on conversion therapy ‘in all its forms’.
The Scottish Government has committed to bringing forward legislation to end conversion practices covering both sexual orientation and gender identity by the end of 2023.
Memorandum of understanding on conversion therapy in the UK
The MOU (Memorandum of understanding) is a joint document signed by over 25 health, counselling and psychotherapy organsations which aims to end the practice of conversion therapy in the UK. PDF download
Disappointment on conversion therapy ban proposals latest
We’ve commented following reported changes in the government’s plans
Consultation on banning conversion therapy launched
We’re reviewing the document to see how it impacts therapists and clients