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MPs Urge UK Government To Prioritise Legislation Banning Gay Conversion Therapy

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Gay conversion therapy: Members of Parliament urged Boris Johnson’s government to ‘prioritise’ delivering on previous commitments, including bringing forward the long-awaited legislation to ban the practice of gay conversion therapy.

The UK Government first promised to ban conversion therapy in 2018 and then reiterated its promise in 2020. Chair of Commons Liaison Committee Sir Bernard Jenkins highlighted several issues raised by senior members of parliament that are “awaiting time in the government’s legislative programme”. In a letter, Bernard wrote, “The Petitions Committee continues to receive two very popular petitions on two issues where the government has committed to acting, but legislation is yet to be introduced, on proposals for stronger sentences for drivers who kill or seriously injure and on banning the practice of conversion therapy.”

Theresa May, the former Prime Minister pledged to eradicate the practice of gay conversion therapy in 2018. In July 2020, Boris Johnson recommitted to ending the practice of gay conversion therapy and described it as “abhorrent”. Johnson also stressed that conversion therapy has “no place in this country”. Unfortunately, ministers have not produced any proposals on how any ban will be implemented. In December 2020, the equalities minister Kemi Badenoch stated that the government is considering all options for ending the practice, and described it as a ‘very complex issue’.

A government Equalities Hub spokesperson told The Independent their response to the liaison committee letter, “Conversion therapy is an abhorrent practice that the government will take action on to stop. We will outline our proposals in due course.”