Conversion therapy: Government commits to introducing legislation to ban ‘abhorrent’ practice

The government has committed to introducing legislation to ban conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity.

Women and equalities minister Liz Truss said ministers want to end the “coercive and abhorrent” practice in England and Wales.

“As a global leader on LGBT rights, this government has always been committed to stamping out the practice of conversion therapy,” she said.

“We want to make sure that people in this country are protected, and these proposals mean nobody will be subjected to coercive and abhorrent conversion therapy.

The move was announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Before legislation is introduced, a public consultation on the government’s plans will take place.

According to the Government Equalities Office, this will be aimed at ensuring the ban ends the practice while at the same time protecting the medical profession, defending freedom of speech and upholding religious freedom.

In a briefing note sent out by Downing Street, the government said it will make sure that any action it takes is “proportionate and effective” and “does not have unintended consequences”.

Research has been commissioned into the scope of the practice and the experiences of those who have been subjected to it.

A victim support package will also be provided, the first time the government has offered such support.

Organisations will get the chance to bid to develop such a package, with the expectation that the provider will be chosen by this summer.

The government has come under pressure to ban conversion therapy, with three LGBT advisers resigning in protest over what they viewed as undue delay in ministers taking action.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier this year that ending the practice was “technically complex”, but insisted his government would “stamp it out”.

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