Thank you for contacting me about conversion therapy.
I am committed to ensuring LGBT+ people can live in safety and dignity. I completely agree that LGBT+ conversion therapies must be banned as a matter of urgency. Conversion therapies are exploitative and damaging.
As you are aware, on 29 October 2021, the UK Government published its long-awaited consultation on proposals to ban conversion therapy. The consultation closed on 4 February 2022, and the Government advised that it was in the process of analysing the responses received and preparing legislation for spring.
However, like yourself, I am greatly concerned that a decision has since been taken to exclude trans people from a ban on conversion therapy. Indeed, it announced this partial change to its plans shortly after it said it was going to drop the ban on conversion therapy entirely. This decision is outrageous and is reflected in the fact that the Government’s own LGBT+ adviser quit his position.
The UK Government should be listening to survivors of these harmful practices and the wider LGBT+ community, not those wishing to allow conversion therapy to continue. For this reason, I believe it is high time that legislation is introduced, including protection orders for people who are vulnerable to pressure to suppress, deny or forcibly change their sexuality or gender identity.
In the UK all major therapy professional bodies and the NHS oppose conversion therapy. There is also a broad consensus from faith leaders across the diversity of faith communities in the UK that conversion therapy is abuse and in December 2020, a significant cross-faith conference of leaders supported a ban on conversion therapy.
Let me assure you that I will never abandon the fight to ban this insidious practice. I am committed to ensuring that the LGBT+ community can live their lives with equality, dignity and respect.
Thank you once again for contacting me about this important issue.