It has been years since the UK government first promised to ban Conversion Therapy yet several years on, the ban has still not happened, Merseynewslive has been finding out more.
Conversion therapy is the term for a type of treatment that assumes certain sexual orientations or gender identities are inferior to others. And seeks to change them on that basis.
It has been widely condemned by health experts all over the world, with some comparing it to torture.
A national consultation on a proposal to ban the practice ended on Friday, February 4, after it was extended from December 20 last year.
Why has Conversion Therapy not been banned yet?
In the Queens speech in 2021 it was announced that Conversion Therapy would be banned after a public consultation on the issue.
Theresa May’s government in 2018 had pledged to halt the practice as part of its LGBT equality plan and also to counter discrimination.
That promise came in the wake of a national survey of 108,000 members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The government survey revealed that 2% of LGBT people had undergone the procedure and 5% had been offered it.
The same promise was made again in 2021, when Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced plans to ban conversion therapy, calling the practice “abhorrent”.
Yet, despite this conversion therapy still remains legal in the UK.
HURRY UP – as it closes today!! Here's the @BanCTorg response, submitted earlier this which you might find useful 👇 – just make sure to put it in your own words.https://t.co/NDAez4xlcW pic.twitter.com/j2bn3Th3Oa
— Ban Conversion Therapy NI (@BanConversionNI) February 4, 2022
The law change is designed to stop people offering services that claim to convert people away from their natural sexual or gender identity.
Instead, measures will be put in place to offer support to those who’ve been targeted.
Speaking in a TV interview during the annual LGBT History Month, The LGBT Foundation told the BBC: “The practice by its very nature is manipulative and abusive.
“The vast majority of cases we see are people who have realised months or even years down the line that they went through an extremally traumatic and abusive experience. And they will have no legal recourse under the current proposals.”
“There was no one to say, actually Joe, you’re enough.”
You are always enough. Together we can #BanConversionTherapy.
Take action to secure a ban that protects all LGBTQIA+ people now: https://t.co/pYh9vqBurk
🚨 Deadline: Today 23:45 🚨
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) February 4, 2022
What does the LGBT community have to say about the proposed ban?
Ryan Needham, a member of the LGBT community from Liverpool, said:
“Conversion Therapy is abuse.
“You can’t cure someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. There’s nothing shameful about being LGBTQ+.
“It’s been a long wait for action over the past four years.”
Current plans suggest that there could be a loophole, allowing those over the age of 18 who are not considered ‘vulnerable’ to consent to conversion therapy.
Luke added: “We need a complete ban on conversion practices. One with no loopholes and a ban that protects all members of the community.”