Government to launch consultation on how best to protect LGBT people after banning ‘abhorrent’ conversion therapy

Pride in London 2016
Pride in London 2016 (PA Archive)
12:41pm, Tue 11 May 2021
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The Government is to launch a consultation on how best to protect LGBT people when it bans the “abhorrent practice” of conversion therapy.

The Queen’s Speech setting out the Government’s legislative agenda, said measures will be brought forward to ban conversion therapy, which can cause mental and physical harm.

In a briefing note from Number 10, accompanying the speech, the Government said it will ensure the action it takes is “proportionate and effective, and does not have unintended consequences”.

It said it will ensure that medical professionals, religious leaders, teachers and parents will be able to continue to have open and honest conversations.

It will launch a consultation before details of the ban are finalised in order to hear from a wide range of people.

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) said the consultation will seek views to ensure that the ban can address the practice “while protecting the medical profession, defending freedom of speech, and upholding religious freedom”.

As soon as parliamentary time allows, and following the consultation, the ban will be introduced in legislation.

The Government has also commissioned research into the scope of practices and experiences of those subjected to conversion therapy.

New funding will go towards a victim support package to ensure that victims can access the support they need.

The GEO said it will be the first time the UK Government has offered such support.

Organisations will be invited to bid to develop such a package, with the Government anticipating that the chosen provider will be in place by the summer.

We want to make sure that people in this country are protected, and these proposals mean nobody will be subjected to coercive and abhorrent conversion therapy

Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss said: “As a global leader on LGBT rights, this Government has always been committed to stamping out the practice of conversion therapy.

“We want to make sure that people in this country are protected, and these proposals mean nobody will be subjected to coercive and abhorrent conversion therapy.

“Alongside this legislation, we will make new funding available to ensure that victims have better access to the support they need.”

Ministers have come under fire in recent months over the time taken to implement a ban.

In March, Boris Johnson said ending conversion therapy is “technically complex” but insisted that ministers will “stamp it out” after three LGBT advisers resigned in protest.

Jayne Ozanne, the first of the advisers to quit, cited delays to banning the pseudoscientific process as among her many complaints of ministers.

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