British government under pressure to act on conversion therapy

The British government is under growing pressure to introduce laws that ban conversion therapy. Former Prime Minister Theresa May made the commitment to bring in legislation, and current PM Boris Johnson has also voiced support, but there has been little progress on the issue.

Originally put in motion by former Conservative PM Theresa May in 2018, In July 2020 Johnson has said his government is working towards the prohibition of conversion practices as reported by the BBC.

“On the gay conversion therapy thing, I think that’s absolutely abhorrent and has no place in civilised society, and has no place in this country,” Johnson said.

However as the British government has been focused on dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, many are beginning to wonder if the commitment has been forgotten.

Chair of Commons Liaison Committee Sir Bernard Jenkins recently highlighted that there were two issues the public regularly inquired about, news laws to introduce harsher penalties for people who cause death or serious injury when driving, and the promised ban on conversion therapy practices.

The last update about the introduction of the legislation came in December last year when Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch said that the government was considering all options for ending the practice, and described it as a “very complex issue”.

This week a spokesperson for the Equalities minister said the issue was still under consideration.

So far three Australian jurisdictions, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria,  have introduced legislation outlawing conversion therapy practices. The Victoria legislation has been described by survivors as the “gold standard”.

As Western Australia heads towards electing a government for the next three years, neither the Liberal party or incumbent Labor government have made a commitment to ban the practice.

OIP Staff

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