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Conversion therapy yet another U-turn

October 2023 Dave, PinkUk

Part one | Part two | Part three


Conversion therapy another U-turn by the Conservatives, but this time it may be good new, or is it?

Peter Tatchell Stop dithering
Peter Tatchell Foundation message to the Tories: ‘Stop dithering’

Tory (Conservative) UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has finally committed to bringing in legislation to ban lesbian, gay and notably trans conversion therapies after yet another U-turn on the 19th October after fears of losing votes from the LGBTQ+ community.

However probably more important to Sunak, and his real reason, is that Tory Whips (government MPs whose role is to ensure enough MPs from their party vote for the government’s agenda) warned him that Tory MPs could rebel and potentially work with Labour if they failed to do so. Some government ministers may opted to quit the cabinet.

Media reports suggest that Sunak will include a draft bill in the King's Speech (the unveiling of the next parliamentary agenda) on the 7th November, which will criminalise "coercive" practices that attempt to change someone's sexuality and gender. The King's Speech is read at the ceremonial State Opening of Parliament.

But knowing the Tories’ history, on this we would not take this as a guarantee. Former Tory PM Theresa May first promised to outlaw conversion therapies in 2018. Her successor Boris Johnson did a U-turn twice in 24 hours in 2022 read our earlier articles to find out more.

There is a caveat on to this as it would outlaw "coercive" practices only. Yet, in a way, all conversion theory is coercive. There is a real risk that this will put the emphasis on the victim to prove it was coercive rather than the perpetrator.

Most people who undertake conversion therapies do so because they are coerced (relating to or using force or threats). This could be from family members, religion, school peer pressure and other sources. We at PinkUk believe conversion therapy should be banned altogether.

There may be more categories to suggest - please let us know if you have any suggestions.

Further update: the situation remains fluid on whether the government will introduce a CT ban with latest reports ( PinkNews, 22 October 2023) suggesting that lobbying from anti-Trans Tory MPs has forced the Government to delay a CT ban yet again! We'll keep you posted on this fast-moving story.

You can read more in this Guardian article

Part one | Part two | Part three


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