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Conversion therapy ban will go ahead but won’t cover trans people

This comes after reports the ban was going to be scrapped altogether


After years of planning, the government decided to go back on its promise to ban conversion therapy…before going back on that and choosing to go ahead with the ban. Except this time, while the ban will cover gay and bisexual people, it will not protect trans people from the practice of conversion therapy.

The chaos began when ITV revealed leaked documents showing that Boris Johnson had decided u-turn on his promise to outlaw conversion therapy.

Hours later, a spokesperson for Downing Street told Sky News the government will in fact ban conversion therapy, but crucially, only when it relates to gay or bisexual people and NOT in the cases of trans people.

Conversion therapy aims to alter a person’s sexuality or gender identity and is outlawed in many countries around the world.

Back in 2018, then-prime minister Theresa May pledged to ban conversion therapy and in last year’s Queen’s Speech this promise was repeated.

The whole fiasco has received a fierce backlash. Labour MP Nadia Whittome tweeted: “Boris Johnson has U-turned again after the strength of feeling and will ban conversion therapy for cisgender lesbian, gay and bisexual people but not trans people.

“It’s still not good enough. LGB comes with the T, and the Tories are not on our side.”

Rylan Clark tweeted: “Don’t forget the T in LGBT. Conversion therapy is a disgraceful practice and our Trans brothers and sisters deserve better.”

Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity, said: “After four years of pledges, delays and multiple u-turns the government has now announced that conversion therapy legislation will not protect trans people. This news will be weighing very heavily on LGBT+ young people this morning – particularly trans young people. Promising to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people while excluding trans people sends an abhorrent message that trans people are not worthy of the same rights, dignity and safety as their peers.

“Excluding trans people from these protections could lead directly to an escalation in this damaging practice aimed at trans young people and will certainly impact the mental health and wellbeing of whole generations of trans young people who will be forced to live with the consequences of this u-turn.

“At Just Like Us we want to send a clear message to trans young people that who you are is something to be celebrated. We call on the government to immediately rethink this damaging, dangerous idea and again commit to protecting and supporting all LGBT+ people.”

Featured image credit: Shutterstock / JessicaGirvan

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