Today, I have written to the Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for Equalities, Liz Truss, about the need for a complete ban on conversion therapy. This dangerous practice must end once and for all.
Thank you to all my constituents who have written to me about this issue and shared their personal stories.
Dear Secretary of State,
Ban on Conversion Therapy
I am writing to express my deep concern over the ban on conversion therapy for individuals in the LGBT+ community, an unfulfilled promise by the Government. The concerns I wish to raise have been echoed by hundreds of my constituents who have written to me alarmed that the practice is yet to be banned. I am sure you will agree that this practice is dangerous and unacceptable in 21st century Britain.
In July 2018, the Government said there would be a ban on this abhorrent practice. However, three years later and there is no movement towards an outright ban on conversion therapy. There is no law to protect people from this harmful practice and this must end now.
The trauma for survivors of conversion therapy is often lifelong. There are serious mental health implications and thus, it is vital the Government introduce provision and funding for victim support. This will allow survivors to rebuild their lives.
My constituent Meri contacted me to explain how the Government’s inaction makes her feel. She expressed, “For me, this current attempt to divide our community feels like a precursor to another Section 28. It’s clear that the Cabinet’s commentary on trans issues comes from a place of ignorance, bigotry, and intolerance. I am 37 years old, and this is the first time in my life that I have felt widespread danger to my wellbeing. It feels unsafe in public.”
It is disgraceful that anyone in Britain is made to feel unsafe due to their sexuality or gender. There cannot be any further delays, the Government must act immediately to ban conversion therapy for the entire LGBT+ community.
I look forward to your response.
Afzal Khan MP
Member of Parliament for Manchester, Gorton