Johnson urged to ban conversion therapy

Rachel Badham September 22, 2020

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has been urged by numerous religious leaders to ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy. Johnson’s lack of progression in banning the practise has been addressed by the Ozanne Foundation, an interfaith advisory board which “works with religious organisations around the world to eliminate discrimination based on sexuality or gender in order to embrace and celebrate the equality and diversity of all.”

According to GLAAD, conversion therapy is any practise which attempts to alter someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Johnson pledged to ban conversion therapy in 2018, and earlier in 2020 he described the practise as ‘abhorrent’, saying it ‘has no place in civilised society’.  However since this remark, there has been little progression towards banning conversion therapy.

The Ozanne Foundation has published an open letter to Johnson, saying ‘as senior religious leaders we recognise the harm done by this discredited practice’, and comparing conversion therapy to a form of torture. The letter also insisted that trans people are protected from the practise.

All major UK therapy bodies and the NHS have discredited the practise which is known to cause trauma in those who are subjected to it. In the last month, several regions in the world have banned conversion therapy such as Louisville, Kentucky, and the Australian Capital Territory; the Ozanne Foundation are hoping the UK will follow.