An investigation by VICE News has discovered that the government equalities office held an “undisclosed private meeting” earlier this year with the Core Issues Trust, which aims to “help people who want to move away from unwanted homosexual feelings”. The meeting was organised with the “ex-gay” leaders of the controversial group which actively advocates for conversion therapy.
The group told VICE that leaders have “spent years” trying to communicate with the government about their views on conversion therapy, and finally attended a meeting which equalities minister Kemi Badenoch was reportedly “eager” to attend. The Core Issues Trust then described the meeting as a “productive” step “in the right direction”, as government officials supposedly “encouraged” any ‘former LGBTQ+ people’ to participate in the public consultation that is running throughout November.
Responding to the report, the government equality hub insisted that the “government’s values do not align with those of the Core Issues Trust”, adding: “We believe that conversion therapy is an abhorrent practice and will shortly publish our plans to ban it in this country.” March 28 2021 marked 1,000 days since the government first promised to ban conversion therapy in the UK, with officials saying that the new law will be enacted in Spring 2022.