Equalities minister Liz Truss has announced the government’s proposal to ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy while launching a 6-week consultation on the matter. According to the official government website, Truss confirmed that the ban will bring an end to any practices that aim to alter a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as outlawing “coercive” therapies for adults.
Explaining the proposal, Truss said: “There should be no place for the abhorrent practice of coercive conversion therapy in our society…I want everyone to be able to love who they want and be themselves.” However, the proposed ban will still allow anyone to “free to seek out professional help and guidance”, causing concern among activists who suggested that conversion therapy can still cause “severe psychological harm”, even if the individual appears to have consented to it.
The consultation survey has been launched today, with officials encouraging “everyone with an opinion on how we should introduce the ban and urge those with an interest and particularly those with experience of conversion therapy to come forward.” Stonewall UK has described the proposals as a “huge step” towards banning conversion therapy, adding: “Conversion therapy is coercive and abhorrent, and does not work. You cannot change an LGBTQ+ person from being who they are, and to try to do so causes lasting damage.”