General News

Liz Truss wants conversion therapy ban to protect ‘religious freedom’

Rachel Badham November 26, 2021

Equalities minister Liz Truss has insisted that any ban on LGBTQ+ conversion therapy should “protect freedom of speech and the ability for adults to consent”, causing concern that this loophole will allow the practice to continue in the UK. On November 24, Truss was asked by MP Kate Osborne if the government intends to “remove the dangerous consent loophole” in the prospective ban on conversion therapy. 

In response, Truss said: “What is important is that we make sure people are not coerced into conversion therapy. But it’s also important that we protect freedom of speech, the ability for adults to consent, and the freedom to express [religious] teachings.” LGBTQ+ news outlet and information hub, LGB with the T, noted that any loopholes mean “forms of conversion therapy will remain legal practice in the UK.”

Last month, Nick Herbert – the UK government’s first-ever envoy on LGBTQ+ rights – confirmed that officials are planning to introduce a national ban on conversion therapy in Spring 2022, with the Queen also confirming the new regulations. However, LGBTQ+ activists and advocacy groups are concerned that the ban will not cover non-physical conversion practices in religious settings, or those who appear to have consented to conversion therapy.