UK Conversion Therapy Ban To Be Announced In Queen’s Speech

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A conversion therapy ban will be announced in the Queen’s Speech on May 11. The Queen’s Speech will set out the government’s agenda for the year.

BBC journalist Jessica Parker tweeted that the ban is set to be announced tomorrow and that a consultation would be launched before any legislation is introduced. According to government sources, the consultation will look into upholding religious freedom such as pastoral support.

ITV News reported that the specifications regarding the scope of the ban are being worked on. According to ITV News, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made banning conversion therapy a “personal priority”.

In March 2020, three members of the government’s LGBT+ Advisory Panel quit due to the government’s inaction regarding conversion therapy. The Conservative party was accused of creating a “hostile environment” for LGBTQ+ people. In response, Johnson claimed that a conversion therapy ban was “technically complex”.

Campaigners for the ban fear that even if conversion therapy is banned, exceptions would be made for religious institutions. Johnson had said that a conversion therapy ban would not apply to adults seeking “pastoral support” from churches. He added that he did not want to see church members criminalised for “normal non-coercive activity”.

Johnson was replying to a letter written by the Christian group that represents 3,500 churches Evangelical Alliance. The letter said that a full conversion therapy ban would be “highly problematic” and the conversion therapy ban would criminalise “common church activities”.

CEO of charity Stonewall said that “It’s vital the UK government puts forward a full legal ban that protects LGBTQIA+ people from all forms of conversion therapy in every setting.”

Former Prime Minister Theresa May had promised to ban conversion therapy in 2018. In July 2020, Johnson has called conversion therapy “absolutely abhorrent” and said it had “no place in civilised society”.