Jayne is a prominent voice for LGBTQI people of faith
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY MARKUS BIDAUX FOR ATTITUDE MAGAZINE
Having written a powerful piece for the February issue of DIVA, Jayne Ozanne, Founder of the Ozanne Foundation, has called for a ban on so-called “conversion therapy” in the UK. Whilst the UK Government consultation draws to a close, Jayne calls for the support of all LGBTQI voices in fighting for an outright ban. “No exemptions, no loopholes, no ‘praying the gay (or trans) away'”, she writes.
The UK Government’s National LGBT Survey, conducted in 2017, reports that 5% of respondents had been offered conversion in an attempt to “cure” them of their identity. 2% reported that they had undergone “conversion therapy”, and a further 4% of transgender respondents stated that they had undergone it.
Appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York from 1999 to 2004 as a founding member of the Archbishops’ Council for the Church of England, Jayne is a prominent voice for LGBTQI people of faith. The Ozanne Foundation exists to eliminate discrimination based on sexuality and gender within religious settings, working closely with religious organisations globally to tackle discrimination and prejudice against LGBTQI people.
Coming out as gay in 2009 to family and friends, Jayne struggled to reconcile her faith with her sexuality. Her memoir, Just Love (2018), documents her intensely personal struggle, and in 2014, she became more publicly engaged with the sexuality debate within the Church. In 2015, she was elected to the Church of England’s General Synod, and in 2017, she tabled a Private Members Motion that facilitated the Church of England calling on the UK Government to ban “conversion therapy”.
Critically, the UK Government extended its consultation on “conversion therapy” in December 2021 until 4 February 2022. Introduced by Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss, the consultation seeks to decipher public opinion, though its current proposals render LGBTQI adults vulnerable to these practices. Citing that “consenting adults” may access “conversion therapy” of their own volition, the current proposals are not nearly extensive enough.
So, what are you waiting for? Let your voice be known, DIVAs! The Ban Conversion Therapy website offers up excellent advice on filling out the consultation, and you can fill it out here. This archaic practice needs to be banned, once and for all. To keep up with Jayne’s work, follow her on Twitter here. You can find The Ozanne Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.
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