- The government must protect LGBT+ people from ‘quacks and religious fundamentalists’.
Parliamentarians from the UK’s major political parties have demanded the government bans so-called LGBT+ ‘conversion therapy’.
The UK has already indicated it’s willing to ban the so-called ‘gay cures’. Even the Church of England has backed the move. However the dangerous therapies have remained legal for years as the government dithers on the issue.
However the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT+ Rights has today written to the Minister for Women and Equalities calling for urgent action.
In a statement to accompany their letter the politicians say they are ‘increasingly concerned by the lack of actual progress since the announcement of the policy to ban this practice almost two years ago’.
Conservative Member of Parliament Crispin Blunt is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT+ Rights.
He said the government must act to protect vulnerable LGBT+ people from ‘quacks and religious fundamentalists’:
‘The UK must legislate without delay to ban so-called “conversion therapy”.
‘The grim suicide statistics of this group tells its own story. Further delay would be an unconscionable betrayal of them.’
And Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords and vice-chair of the group, Baroness Liz Barker, said:
‘It is unthinkable that in the UK it remains legal to offer so-called “conversion therapy” to LGBT+ people.
‘We do not need to be ‘cured’. What we urgently require is primary legislation that equips those vulnerable to this abhorrent practice with a clear deterrent.’
‘Dangerous and cruel’
In their letter to Equalities Minister Liz Truss they say the government is using ‘definitional and legal complexities’ as an ‘excuse’ for not acting.
But they say several other countries have managed to ban the dangerous practices.
Meanwhile international LGBT+ organization ILGA World published a major report showing what governments can do.
Moreover, the world’s most important psychological, psychiatric and health organizations have all condemned the ‘cures’. They say they don’t work and can do serious long term damage.
The parliamentarians letter to Truss concludes:
‘So-called “conversion therapy” is a dangerous and cruel practise which has an ongoing and devastating impact on the wellbeing of those who have undergone it.
‘We would like to understand what steps have been taken over the last two years and what the timeline is going forward to ensure that LGBT+ people in the UK are protected.
We are also sure Her Majesty’s Government would receive the enthusiastic help of parliamentary colleagues in finding time to get this law delivered.
‘We look forward to hearing from you on your plans and how we may assist you deliver this now overdue promise.’
Barker and Blunt have signed the letter alongside Labour politicians Lord Ray Collins and Peter Kyle MP as well as Scottish National Party MP Stewart McDonald and independent Lord Michael Cashman, .
‘Conversion therapy’ bans around the world
Meanwhile Germany became the fifth country in the world to ban the so-called ‘therapies’ this month.
It joined Malta, Ecuador, Brazil and Taiwan which have a similar ban.
Meanwhile Albania made a move in the same direction this month. But its ban is not a law. It is for therapy professionals only and will only carry professional sanctions.
At present Canada, Ireland, Australia and Chile are all considering national bans, like the UK.
However, there are partial, de-facto or regional bans in countries including China, Switzerland and Spain.
Meanwhile there are bans in 20 US states: New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, Utah and Virginia as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.