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Is gay ‘cure’ therapy about to be banned in the UK?

By Will Stroude

Gay ‘cure’ therapy could soon be banned in the UK, sources close to the government have said.

Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan is reportedly preparing to take action against the controversial ‘treatment’ – which seeks to reduce same-sex attraction through counselling and therapy – according to the Sunday Times.

nicky morgan

A source told the newspaper: “This is an issue Nicky is concerned about and she is preparing for further action on it. She would want all steps taken to protect people, including vulnerable young people.

“We will be looking at safeguards and speaking to the royal societies.”

While so-called reparative therapy is opposed by almost all medical bodies – including The Royal College of Psychiatrists and British Psychological Society (BPS) – it is not unlawful in the UK and continues to take place.

Earlier this year, an official memorandum was issued to NHS staff in England telling them in that they should no longer refer people to groups offering gay ‘conversion’ therapy.

Fourteen organisations – including NHS England and the British Psychological Society – signed the agreement to stop offering the therapy patients. While the ‘treatment’ isn’t provided on the NHS, it’s understood that in rare cases NHS staff have put patients in touch with organisations who provide it.

While there are few reliable figues on its use, a 2009 survey of 1,300 mental health professionals found that more than 200 had tried to help at least one client to reduce same-sex sexual attraction. A third of patients (35%) were said to have been referred for therapy by a GP, the Guardian reported last year.

Nicky Morgan – who also serves as Education Secretary – previously voted against equal marriage, before backtracking and saying she was “proud” of the progress LGBT rights have made in the UK.

If you’re in need of more information or gay-friendly counselling support, you can contact Stonewall’s Information Service.

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