News PM says UK to ban ‘abhorrent practices’ of conversion therapy

PM says UK to ban ‘abhorrent practices’ of conversion therapy

Britain's PM Boris Johnson has used the opening of parliament to announce a conversion therapy ban. Photo: EPA
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Britain will move to ban conversion therapy and provide more support to those in the LGBTQI community who have undergone the treatment as part of its post-pandemic government agenda.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government said measures would be brought forward to prevent these “abhorrent practices which can cause mental and physical harm”, starting with a consultation on how best to protect people and how to eliminate coercive practices.

Mr Johnson’s Conservative party has come under increasing pressure on the issue after former leader Theresa May vowed in 2018 to eradicate a procedure that aims to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

However some faith leaders had argued that a wide-ranging ban could implicate those who offer pastoral support including prayer.

Setting out the new parliamentary agenda in a briefing document alongside a speech from Queen Elizabeth at the formal opening of Parliament, the government said: “We will ensure medical professionals, religious leaders, teachers and parents can continue to be able to have open and honest conversations with people”.

A 2017 survey in the UK found that five per cent of those who responded reported being ordered to take, and two per cent reported having undergone, conversion therapy.

In more than half of the cases the therapy was offered or conducted by faith organisations.

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