UK equalities minister Liz Truss has told ITV News that any national ban on conversion therapy will protect the trans community. During a recent parliamentary debate discussing the possibility of outlawing the controversial practice, a handful of MPs including Crispin Blunt and Alicia Kearns said any ban must include trans conversion therapy, with Blunt saying trans people are the “most vulnerable” group in the LGBTQ+ community.
Truss has now confirmed the government intends to include trans conversion therapy under the ban, saying: “I’m very clear that we want to make sure that transgender people are free to live their lives and don’t face the type of horrific conversion therapy that currently has been going on here in the UK.” Stonewall responded to the news, tweeting: “This is a very welcome, clear commitment from Liz Truss…It is vital that the forthcoming legislative ban promised by the government protects trans people.”
Despite Truss’s promise that the government is working to outlaw the practice, she came under fire, along with fellow equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, after three LGBTQ+ advisors quit their positions and accused both ministers of ‘ignorance’ regarding issues which affect queer people. Jayne Ozanne, one of the previous advisors, said: “I don’t believe that they understand LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender people. I’ve sat in meetings and I’ve been astonished about how ignorant they are on issues that affect the real lives, particularly of younger people.”
Amid the controversy, prime minister Boris Johnson vowed to ‘stamp out’ conversion therapy and referred to the practice as “abhorrent”. He first promised to address conversion therapy in 2018 but it still remains legal in the UK.