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UK Government still ‘committed’ to banning conversion therapy, says LGBT Special Envoy

An upcoming consultation will be on "how, not whether" the practice should be outlawed, says Nick Herbert

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: 

The UK Government is committed to bringing a ban on conversion therapy in Spring 2022, according to the government’s LGBTQ Special Envoy.

Nick Herbert, appointed to the role in May, tweeted today (1 October 2021) in response to a new report calling for an outright ban on the abhorrent practice in all forms.

Conversion therapy seeks to change or suppress a person’s gender identity or sexuality and has been widely debunked by medical professionals and organisations.

“Conversion therapy will be banned”

Quote tweeting the Cooper Report – a new investigation into conversion therapy – Herbert called it “useful and constructive”. He also said the UK’s consultation on conversion therapy would be published “shortly”.

He added it will be on “how (not whether) conversion therapy should be outlawed.”

Last week the BBC reported it had been delayed from September to likely the end of October.

In a follow-up tweet, Herbert added: “I know the Government remains committed – as set out in the Queen’s speech – to bringing forward legislation next Spring to ensure that the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy will be banned.”

The Cooper Report, which was produced by the Ozanne Foundation, has concluded that “so-called ‘conversion therapy’ must be criminalised and that there can be no exemptions.”

The report sets out recommendations for the government about how to effectively legislate against “all forms” of the abhorrent practice. Read the full report here.

A ban on conversion therapy was first put forward by former Prime Minister Theresa May in 2018. Earlier this year it was included in the Queen’s Speech as being on the docket. However, there have been delays meaning no action has yet taken place.

The Government disbanded its LGBT advisory panel in April after three members, including Jayne Ozanne, herself a survivor of conversion therapy, resigned over inaction on the issue.

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