The UK government is reportedly “not budging” on its decision not to ban trans ‘conversion therapy’, despite widespread calls to do so.
On 31 March, a leaked document seen by ITV News confirmed that the UK government was no longer planning to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ despite promising to do so since 2018.
However, mere hours after the news broke, the government made a U-turn on its decision in the wake of public outcry at it – including from fellow Conservative politicians.
“The Prime Minister has changed his mind off the back of the reaction to our report and he WILL now ban conversion therapy after all,” said Paul Brand, the journalist who broke the story.
“Senior Govt source absolutely assures me it’ll be in Queen’s Speech.
“But only gay conversion therapy, not trans.”
Understand No 10 is not budging on trans conversion therapy after meetings with Equalities Office and others today. Stand by for some fairly furious reaction from many in LGBT sector.
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) April 4, 2022
On 4 April, the government released a statement appearing to confirm that trans and gay ‘conversion therapy’ will be treated as two separate issues due to concerns of “unintended consequences”, particularly for those under the age of 18.
“The Government has a proud record on LGBT rights, and the Prime Minister is committed to bringing forward legislation to ban conversion therapy,” the statement read.
“Recognising the complexity of issues and need for further careful thought, we will carry out separate work to consider the issue of transgender conversion therapy further.
“This is a legally complex area and we have a responsibility to ensure unintended consequences are not written into legislation, particularly in the case of under 18s.”
In response to the news, numerous organisations such as Stonewall, the Black Trans Alliance and the Ozanne Foundation pulled out of the government’s Safe to Be Me conference.
“That the Prime Minister @BorisJohnson would so casually walk away from four years of promises to the LGBTQ+ community is appalling, and we cannot in good conscience back Safe To Be Me at a time when our community’s trust in the UK Government is shattered,” Stonewall wrote on Twitter.
Due to the Prime Minister’s broken promise on protecting trans people from the harms of conversion therapy, we regret that we are withdrawing Stonewall’s support for the UK Government’s #SafeToBeMe2022 conference 🧵 pic.twitter.com/ioht3DuwO0
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) April 4, 2022
This is a breaking story. More to follow.