The UK’s new equalities minister Kemi Badenock has halted work on banning ‘conversion therapy’.
According to ITV News, the conservative politician has asked to review the current plans, meaning there’ll be yet another delay to outlawing the harmful practice.
Typically defined as any attempt at changing or suppressing a person’s sexuality or gender identity, ‘conversion therapy’ often involves abhorrent techniques such as electroshock therapy or prayer.
It has been widely condemned by health experts and bodies all over the world, including the National Health Service and the World Health Organisation, with some comparing it to torture.
A commitment to banning ‘conversion therapy’ was first made by Theresa May’s administration in 2018, though is yet to be implemented in the UK; meaning four consecutive prime ministers have failed to deliver on their manifesto promise.
In a joint survey from GAY TIMES and Channel 4 News, almost 9 in 10 (88%) of respondents said the government should introduce a complete ban of the practice.
The GAY TIMES audience was also asked if the country should be doing more to protect the LGBTQ+ community from ‘conversion therapy’, with 97% of respondents stating that this is the case.
ITV also revealed that Badenoch’s predecessor Nadhim Zahawi has agreed for a Joint Committee of MPs and Lords to analyse a bill next year, which will ultimately lead to a ban.
Badenoch is well-known for her archaic views on LGBTQ+ rights, opposing gender-neutral bathrooms and plans by the Financial Conduct Authority to allow trans employees to self-identity in the workplace.
In audio obtained by VICE World News last year, Badenoch could also be heard misgendering transgender people and questioning gay marriage.
“It’s no longer about minority rights in terms of race any more or nationality,” said the Minister of Equalities, “it’s now, you know like, it’s not even about sexuality now, it’s now like the whole transgender movement, where, OK well we’ve got gay marriage, and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looking for?”
The term “transsexual” is widely seen as offensive and outdated, originating in the psychological and medical communities to imply that someone has undergone gender-affirming medical procedures.
Comments made by the Conservative MP were reportedly said in Badenoch’s parliamentary office in 2018 – one year before being appointed a minister by Boris Johnson.
The Minister for Equalities goes on to complain about “men using women’s bathrooms” in the audio as she appears to misgender transgender people: “Even when, you know, so, people hear about, you know like the whole bathroom thing.
“It’s actually more of an American thing but they have a similar problem, that, right so now it’s not just about being free to marry who you want, you now want to have men using women’s bathrooms.”
Badenoch has never voted on same-sex marriage as she was absent for both votes in 2019.
However, she has attended talks with anti-trans group LGB Alliance, and was said to be a vital component in setting up talks between government officials and the group. She has also shown her support for anti-trans professor Kathleen Stock.
Badnoch positioned herself as “anti-woke” throughout her campaign, and received endorsement from right wing groups such as Britain First.