Queen Elizabeth II is expected to give an update on banning ‘conversion therapy’ during her annual speech at the state opening of parliament.
Each year, the Queen gives a speech that sets out the programme of legislation expected to be pursued in the forthcoming parliamentary session by the government.
Although exactly what she will announce remains unclear until the day, which bills are on the agenda is usually clear – as is the case with a ‘conversion therapy’ ban.
“Measures will be brought forward to address racial and ethnic disparities and ban conversion therapy,” the monarch said during her 2021 message last May.
She added that the government will “strengthen and renew democracy and the constitution” as well as “protect freedom of speech and restore the balance of power between the executive, legislature and the courts.”
However, a year later, the government has made U-turn after U-turn on its plans – resulting in an intention to ban the harmful practice for LGB people, but not trans.
A draft bill on this is expected to be confirmed in the Queen’s speech, which will take place on 10 May.
Other legislation on her agenda is set to include a British Bill of Rights, a broadcasting bill set to propose the privatisation of Channel 4 and a levelling up/regeneration bill, among other things.
Next Tuesday, the #QueensSpeech will lay out the UK Govt's plans for the coming year, outlining proposed policies & legislation.
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) May 6, 2022
‘Conversion therapy’ is typically defined as any attempt at changing a person’s sexuality or gender identity, often involving techniques such as electroshock therapy or prayer.
It has been widely condemned by health experts all over the world, with some comparing it to torture.
Among these are the National Health Service, World Health Organisation, World Psychiatric Association and the United Nations.
A commitment to banning it was first made by Theresa May’s administration in 2018, though is yet to actually happen.
Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, criticised the government for “flip-flopping” and said ‘conversion therapy’ should be banned “in all its forms”.
Speaking on 6 April, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated the decision the exclude the transgender community from the ‘conversion therapy’ ban was done to consider the “complexities and sensitivities” of the issue, Sky News reported.
He stated that the move would not “diminish our determination to tackle prejudice wherever we can”.
"There are complexities and sensitivities when you move from the area of sexuality to the question of gender", says PM Boris Johnson, adding "I don't think it's reasonable" for children to "take decisions on their gender" without a parent's involvement.https://t.co/1tlTUMzZ7e pic.twitter.com/ieyjnK4enQ
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 6, 2022