As part of its post-pandemic government agenda, UK is eyeing to ban “conversion therapy” and provide more support to those in the LGBTQIA community who underwent the treatment.
As reported by Reuters, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government said measures would be developed to prevent these “abhorrent practices which can cause mental and physical harm”.
“Conversion therapy” is the most widely-used term used to describe practices attempting to change, suppress or divert one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It is also called reorientation therapy, reparative therapy, reintegrative therapy, or, more recently, support for unwanted same-sex attraction or transgender identities.
Medical associations are critical of this practice – e.g. the World Psychiatric Association criticized these as “wholly unethical,” and the Pan American Health Organization warned that they pose “a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.” The Canadian Psychological Association and the World Health Organization also oppose the same, stating that it poses a “severe threat to the health and human rights of the affected persons.”
In 2018, former UK leader Theresa May actually vowed to deal with “conversion therapy”, though she failed to deliver until her departure from office in 2019.
Now, Johnson’s party is under pressure to also deal with this issue.
In a briefing document alongside the Queen’s Speech, Johnson’s government said it now eyes to have consultations about this issue to “ensure medical professionals, religious leaders, teachers and parents can continue to be able to have open and honest conversations with people.”
This government will also provide additional financial support to help victims of conversion therapy get the help they need.
The number of places that introduced a full or partial ban continues to grow, now including Canada, Malta, Germany, Mexico and parts of Australia.