Government launches consultation on banning ‘abhorrent and coercive’ conversion therapy that aims to ‘cure’ gay men and women

Conversion therapy that seeks to ‘cure’ gay men and women is set to be banned under plans set out in the Queen’s Speech. 

Ministers have pledged to end the ‘abhorrent and coercive’ practice which seeks to make LGBT people heterosexual.

But there are fears that the measures contain a loophole for religious groups who are the main proponents of the highly controversial therapy which critics say is a form of abuse.

The speech sets out plans for a consultation and also says that it will also ensure ‘medical professionals, religious leaders, teachers and parents can continue to be able to have open and honest conversations with people’.

Jayne Ozanne, an evangelical Christian and a former Whitehall equalities advisor, tweeted: ‘Yet more consultation – what LGBT+ people need is protection from all those that believe they should be changed or be celibate for life.

‘It’s quite simple – the govt must choose who it will protect: lives of LGBT+ people or religious right who want to ”pray gay (& trans) away”!’

The speech sets out plans for a consultation and also says that it will also ensure ‘medical professionals, religious leaders, teachers and parents can continue to be able to have open and honest conversations with people’.

The Queen’s Speech set out that measures would be introduced in this Parliament to ‘ban conversion therapy’.

In its guide to the speech the Government said: ‘People should be free to be themselves in the UK. The ban will eliminate coercive practices which cause mental and physical harm to individuals. 

‘We will ensure the action we take to stop this practice is proportionate and effective, and does not have unintended consequences. We will ensure medical professionals, religious leaders, teachers and parents can continue to be able to have open and honest conversations with people.’

Equalities minister Liz Truss added: ‘As a global leader on LGBT rights, this government has always been committed to stamping out the practice of conversion therapy.

‘We want to make sure that people in this country are protected, and these proposals mean nobody will be subjected to coercive and abhorrent conversion therapy.

‘Alongside this legislation, we will make new funding available to ensure that victims have better access to the support they need.’

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