I have been inundated with emails from constituents over the last few days calling on the Government to finally ban the use of conversion therapies in our society. I fully support these calls.
Being LGBT+ is not something that can or should be “cured” – the idea that being gay is pathological is an offensive, outdated viewpoint that has no place in today’s society. I believe we should be accepting of all, and I am deeply concerned that this practice has continued to spread fear and hatred in our society.
Figures from the National LGBT Survey found 7% of LGBT+ people have been offered or undergone conversion therapy. The numbers were noticeable higher among trans respondents and asexual people (13% and 10% respectively).
As it stands right now, the law does not protect people from this harmful practice.
In 2018, the Government committed to banning conversion therapy as a practice as part of its LGBT Action Plan. But nearly 1,000 days on from this promise and we have yet to see any action.
Every day that passes without a ban, exposes more vulnerable LGBT+ people to this practice. The Government must stop dragging its feet and bring forward proposals to end the practice of conversion therapy. When they do, I will work with MPs to ensure the proposal is properly scrutinised to ensure it protects everyone at risk from these abhorrent practices.
For survivors of conversion therapy, the trauma they experience is often lifelong. With such serious mental health implications, it is vital that alongside a comprehensive ban the Government introduce provision and funding for victim and survivor support. Without this, survivors may never be able to rebuild their lives.
We all have a responsibility to create a world where all LGBTQIA+ people are able to live in safety and dignity.