Members from Stonewall to Galop have spoken out
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE VIA @ELIZABETH.TRUSS.MP
Today, the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition has released a new campaign video highlighting Prime Minister Liz Truss’s longstanding commitment towards banning conversion practices, urging her to “keep her word” and “deliver, deliver, deliver.”
Constituted of 79 leading LGBTQIA and human rights charities, faith communities and mental health practitioners including Stonewall, Galop, Mermaids and African Rainbow Family, the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition was created in July 2020 to call on the UK Government to commit to a full legislative ban.
Importantly, the UK Government initially committed to banning conversion therapy in July 2018 under the initiative of then-Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt. Liz Truss inherited this position in 2019, swiftly describing it as an “abhorrent” practice that – akin to her predecessor – she would seek to revoke. In October 2021, these sentiments were confirmed as proposals were published under her initiative to outlaw conversion practices for all LGBTQIA people.
However, in March 2022 former Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed to include trans people in this ban. He defended this decision, remarking that “I don’t think that it’s reasonable for kids to be deemed competent to take decisions about their gender or irreversible treatments. I think there should be parental involvement.” This decision led to more than 100 groups quitting the UK Government’s LGBT Conference.
Liz Truss’s premiership presents a new opportunity for her administration to commit to a universally inclusive ban on so-called conversion therapy practices.
Nancy Kelley, Stonewall’s Chief Executive, states: “Over the last four years successive governments have dragged their heels on their promise to ban abusive conversion practices that destroy LGBTQ+ people’s lives. As Prime Minister, Liz Truss can now finally deliver on her own commitment to protect lesbian, gay, bi and trans people from this harm.
“Countries around the world are increasingly adopting bans that safeguard LGBTQ+ people from attempts to change or “cure” who we are. The UK, which has historically been a leader in LGBTQ+ rights, is fast falling behind. We now have an opportunity to fix Britain’s worrying slide down global rankings of countries that respect the rights of LGBTQ+ people.
“The Prime Minister has said time and time again that she is committed to banning abhorrent conversion practices. She must now deliver on her word.”
Further, Leni Morris – CEO of LGBT+ anti-abuse charity Galop – comments: “Galop has been supporting victims and survivors of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for years, and we’ve seen the significant, and often lifelong, effects on its victims.
“LGBT+ people in the UK deserve to be protected. Every day that passes without this legislation means more people coming through our doors, having experienced abuse that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. We were promised a ban that protects the whole of our community. We urge the new Government to act on this now, to stop more harm.”
Jayne Ozanne, Chair of the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition and Director of the Ozanne Foundation, further remarks: “Conversion practices are indeed abhorrent and should have been banned years ago. We have constantly been assured that the government is working ‘at pace’ to ensure a full ban with no loopholes. It is time now for the Prime Minister to finally deliver on her long-held promises.”
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