Mike Weatherley, the Conservative MP for Hove and Portslade, has branded gay-to-straight conversion therapy that is conducted in some parts of the UK as flawed and dangerous and has joined a group of cross-party parliamentarians in condemning the practice.
He has signed Early Day Motion 219 (Gay-to-Straight Conversion Therapy in the UK) which draws attention to the harmful attempts to ‘cure’ lesbian, gay or bisexual people and how that the Department for Health has not condoned the practice.
More worryingly, links to NHS doctors recommending conversion treatment have been uncovered and Mike agrees that these developments need to be properly investigated.
“It is deeply disturbing that there may be any links with the NHS and ‘conversion therapists’. Not only can this kind of therapy be incredibly damaging, it is based on the false notion that there is something wrong with anything other than a heterosexual sexual orientation. I have absolutely no qualms in joining calls for this flawed process to be banned for anyone under 18.”
EDM 219 – Gay-to-Straight Conversion Therapy in the UK
“That this House believes that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not a disease or illness and that therapy which attempts to cure or change a person’s sexual orientation is both ineffective and potentially extremely harmful; notes that a 2009 survey of 1,300 British psychiatrists, therapists and psychoanalysts revealed over 200 had attempted to change at least one patient’s sexuality (BMC Psychiatry, 9:11, 26 March 2009); further notes than an undercover investigation in 2010 (The Independent, 1 February 2010) found one psychotherapist claimed most of her clients were forwarded to her from her local GP; further notes that the Department of Health does not condone the concept of therapists offering cures for homosexuality and recognises that the practice may well cause significant harm to some patients; is deeply concerned that nothing currently prevents conversion therapists from freely operating in Britain or practising in the psychotherapy sector; and therefore calls on the Government to investigate any NHS links with conversion therapists, ensuring that NHS medical professionals cannot inflict this cruel treatment on their patients and to take steps to ban conversion therapy for under-18s.”