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LGBTQ Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem groups unite to demand conversion therapy ban

"We've waited almost 1,000 days since the UK Government announced its intention to ban conversion therapy."

2021-03-16

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Pexels

A collective of LGBTQ political groups have co-signed a letter to Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss demanding a "legislative ban" on conversion therapy.

Reps for LGBT+ Conservatives, LGBT+ Labour, LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and LGBTIQA+ Greens are among the signees.

Last week, Truss promised to ban the scientifically-debunked practise, which attempts to change a person's sexuality or gender identity.

However, as stated in the letter, "we have waited almost 1,000 days since the UK Government [then under former PM Theresa May] announced its intention to ban conversion therapy."

"Vague and unempathetic"

In the letter, the groups responded to the "vague and unempathetic response from the Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch MP" to the
debate on conversion therapy on Monday 8 March 2021, prompted by a petition signed by 250,000 people.

Badenoch attracted criticism for using the word "end" rather than 'ban' while discussing the practise. She also spoke of "sexual orientation" and not ‘gender identity or expression’ during her address.

"During this debate MPs spoke powerfully about their experiences growing up with the stigma of being LGBT+" the letter continues. "They recounted the stories of people who’ve been through different forms of conversion therapy and the enduring, devastating impact it has had on their lives.

"There was clear cross-party consensus on what an effective legislative ban would need to do to protect LGBT+ people in the UK. We know that only a legislative ban would truly protect our communities, and such a ban would need to cover all interventions."

Interventions listed in the letter include:

* Healthcare, religious and cultural/traditional interventions
* Any intervention that has the intention of changing, suppressing, converting or cancelling sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression
* Public and private spheres
* Children and adults
* Both those who have been coerced as well as those who have consented
* Advertising and promoting of such therapies both online and in public spaces
* Protecting those who are threatened with being sent overseas to undergo conversion therapy

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