Government decides it will go ahead with plan to ban conversion therapy following backlash
The government has decided it will go ahead with its plans to ban conversion therapy after a leaked document revealed it was scrapping the move.
“The PM has agreed we should not move forward with legislation to ban LGBT conversion therapy,” the document read, ITV News first reported.
Following backlash from politicians, charities and businesses, the government has rowed back its decision. Though it will not only ban gay conversion therapy, and not trans conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy attempts to change or supress someone’s sexuality or gender expression and has already been made illegal in several other countries, including Germany, Canada and Mexico.
“The domestic and LGBT sector are likely to claim that we have lost the ability to speak as a global leader on LGBT rights”, the document warns.
Companies such as BP and OVO Energy, as well as charities, have refused to sponsor the UK government’s “Safe To Be Me: Global Equality Conference” due to its poor record on LGBTQ rights, according to VICE World News.
The pledge to ban the practice was first promised in 2018 but has been passed down from Theresa May to current prime minster Boris Johnson. The move has been repeatedly pushed back with a number of consultations over how a ban might work.
The justification given in the document suggests that the “major pressures on cost of living and the crisis in Ukraine” has created a “need to rationalise our legislative programme”.
The briefing, titled “Conversion Therapy Handling Plan”, admits that their will be “noisy backlash from LGBT groups and some parliamentarians when we announce we do not intend to proceed”.
The document also suggests that those involved in designing the ban have not yet been informed of the move, including equalities minister Liz Truss.
“While Liz is not ideologically committed to the legislation she is likely to be concerned about owning the new position, having personally committed to delivering the Bill”, it said.
It comes just two days after the equalities office minister Mike Freer told parliament that the government remained “wholly committed” to bringing forward proposals to ban conversion therapy.
In response, Downing Street said: “Having explored this sensitive issue in great depth the government has decided to proceed by reviewing how existing law can be deployed more effectively to prevent this in the quickest way possible, and explore the use of other non-legislative measures.”