The government has committed to introducing legislation to ban conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity.
Women and Equalities Minister Liz Truss said ministers want to end the “coercive and abhorrent” practice in England and Wales.
“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,” Ms Truss said.
The move was announced in the Queen’s Speech. Before legislation is introduced, a public consultation on the government’s plans will take place.
According to the Government Equalities Office, this will be aimed at ensuring the ban ends the practice while at the same time protecting the medical profession, defending freedom of speech and upholding religious freedom.
In a briefing note sent out by Downing Street, the government said it will make sure that any action it takes is “proportionate and effective” and “does not have unintended consequences”.
The prime minister’s spokesman said the government was not setting a “specific” timetable for the consultation, but did want it to be “short and prompt”.
“It is vital we seek further views from the public and key stakeholders to ensure the ban can address abhorrent and coercive practices whilst protecting the medical profession, defending freedom of speech and upholding religious freedom,” he said.
“We know there are still those who want to express their views on what is an extremely complicated topic, so that’s why it is right to launch a short consultation so that everyone can have their voices heard.”
Asked to comment on a warning from Jayne Ozanne, a former LGBTQ adviser, that there is a risk of a “highly dangerous loophole” being created if the government focuses only on “coercive practices”, the spokesman replied: “I disagree. We want to work with key stakeholders to inform proposals so we can put an end to this practice.”
Nancy Kelley, chief executive at the charity Stonewall, said it was “concerning” that there would be a consultation first.
“We don’t need a consultation to know that all practices that seek to convert, suppress, cure or change us are dangerous, abusive and must be banned,” she said.
The government said research has been commissioned into the scope of the practice and the experiences of those who have been subjected to conversion therapy.
A victim support package will also be provided, the first time the government has offered such support.
Organisations will get the chance to bid to develop such a package, with the expectation that the provider will be chosen by this summer.
The government has come under pressure to ban conversion therapy, with three LGBT advisers resigning in protest over what they viewed as undue delay in ministers taking action.
Ms Ozanne accused ministers of “dragging their feet” over a ban in an interview with Sky News.
Boris Johnson said earlier this year that ending the practice was “technically complex”, but insisted his government would “stamp it out”.
- 3 arrested for brandishing guns in viral social media video
- BoG directs banks, SDIs to abolish unfair fees, charges, others
- Re: Akufo-Addo can’t even shower in presidential jet
- Wesley Girls, 6 other schools come tops in WASSCE ranking for Central Region
- Opuni petitions Chief Justice, wants to file another application at Supreme Court
- Tributes pour in as Zambia’s founding president passes on
- Bullion Van survives robbery attack in Winneba
- Father’s day: Dad’s car gift was a big surprise – 1st Class Degree holder-uber driver
- Denmark midfielder, Christian Eriksen discharged from hospital
- Police await AG’s advice in spousal murder case involving business executive
You can run, but you can’t hide – Kofi Boakye to bullion van attackers
Enimil Ashon: Knowledge without character
Livestream: Newsfiles discusses vaccine politics, daylight robberies
Samson’s Take: Minerals Commissions demands $1000 for RTI request
Euros on MGL: Impressive Scotland frustrate England in Wembley draw
Father’s day: Dad’s car gift was a big surprise – 1st Class Degree holder-uber driver
Covid-19: Cinderella not going to ball as Lloyd Webber withdraws musical from live events pilot
Stay true to your music roots to win Grammys – US based artiste tells Ghanaian musicians
Voting against Gifty was to address threat to corruption of our democracy- Suhuyini
Ceccy Twum reveals why churches stopped supporting gospel musicians
Re: Akufo-Addo can’t even shower in presidential jet
CIHRM Ghana holds 2021 Annual General Meeting
Minister for Education, Commission for TVET inspect project at CCTU
About 97% of informal sector workers not guaranteed formal pension benefits – Employment Minister
Deputy Education Minister nominee’s conscience not aligned to threats of corruption – Suhuyini