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Boris Johnson pledges to ban “abhorrent” gay ‘conversion’ therapy

The prime minister says the practice has "no place in a civilised society, and has no place in this country".

By Will Stroude

Boris Johnson has pledged to ban the “abhorrent” practice of gay ‘conversion’ therapy in Britain.

The prime minister told reporters on Monday (20 July) that the practice of attempting to suppress or change someone’s sexuality through therapy or counselling has “no place in a civilised society, and has no place in this country”, BBC News reports.

“What we’re going to do is a study right now on where is this actually happening, how prevalent is it, and then we will bring forward plans on how to ban it”, Johnson said.

In the same interview, the Conservative party leader added that the government would be responding to a recent consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act after parliament’s upcoming summer recess.

In 2017, then-prime minister Theresa May announced a consultation on reforming the 2004 Gender Recognition Act to make it easier for transgender people to have their gender legally recognised.

However, reports emerged earlier this year indicating that the government was planning to drop the reforms, and would offer to ban gay ‘conversion’ therapy as an apparent ‘alternative’ to reduce backlash from the LGBTQ community.

So, while the prime minister’s latest pledge is certainly welcome, it remains to be seen whether the government will uphold its promises to the transgender community – because, in case it needs saying, LGBTQ equality is not an ‘either/or’ debate.