Today Liz Truss confirmed a policy which the Government has sat on the fence on for quite some time – the Government will begin taking legislative steps to ban conversion therapy.
The Government hopes to protect people from the coercive and awful practice of conversion therapy. Conversion therapy for those not in the know is a pseudoscientific practice – the aim is to change an individual’s sexual orientation, usually from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual. Sometimes therapy is also in place to discourage trans people not to change to or accept their preferred gender. In many cases the therapy is incredibly harmful to mental health and self esteem though those engaging in the therapy are often made to feel as though homosexuality is a mental illness.
While many forms of this therapy are already banned under current legislation (such as chemical castration, hormonal treatments, drugs, shock therapy in non medical premises etc) some such as pressure groups, prayer groups and ‘rehabilitation’ sessions still exist. A full review and new ban will ensure that it is finally stopped once and for all.
Equalities Minister Liz Truss said:
“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.”
In addition to this the Government has also announced that more funding will be made to victims by this summer. This is one of the issues which will be given prompt attention in the new parliament to get consultations going and legislation in place quickly.