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​LGBT Foundation welcomes the Government’s move to ban “Conversion therapy”

Published: 29 October 2021 Tags: By LGBT Foundation

LGBT Foundation welcomes the Government’s move to ban “Conversion therapy”. “Conversion therapy” is the condemned and vicious abuse that many LGBTQ+ people – often the most vulnerable in the community - have suffered from. It is a coercive and manipulative practice that must be unequivocally condemned. The consultation is the first step to protecting our communities.

We are pleased to see several proposed provisions from the Government that will provide safety and security to victims of physical and psychological trauma, and a package of support such as a helpline and online educational resources. We are glad that Government acknowledges that “Conversion therapy” takes place in different settings and contexts. We are also pleased that there have been responses to the incorrect coverage of the proposals to clearly state that gender affirmation practices and proper interventions do not fall under the umbrella of “Conversion therapy”.

However, we must stress that there are aspects of the proposal that fall short. The proposal considers the notion that over-18s can consent to these practices. However, as they are abusive and coercive, there can be no informed consent, and suggesting otherwise leaves a dangerous loophole. We also feel that the proposal must not only consider attempts to “change” sexual orientation and gender identity but also attempts to suppress such lived experience. Additionally, we must point out that the Government stops short of acknowledging that religious interventions should be included in any proposed ban despite recognising that “Conversion therapy” does exist in different contexts. Similar to the concern around consent, this leaves a potential loophole that can continue to cause serious damage to LGBTQ+ people’s wellbeing.

Ultimately, the consultation process must centre the voices of those most impacted by the proposed legislation, and that is the LGBTQ+ community. We encourage detailed and informed responses to the consultation that best protect the most vulnerable. We will continue to work with LGBTQ+ organisations across Greater Manchester and the UK to see that the ban becomes law.