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Bill to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’ passes first stage in Parliament

Yesterday, the Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) and Conversion Therapy Bill passed its first reading in the House of Commons. The Bill, which was introduced by Labour MP Geraint Davies, would legally ban all therapies aimed at converting a person from a gay to a hetrosexual orientation, whether this takes place in a medical setting or within a religious context. Humanists UK, which has campaigned to ban such therapies, has welcomed this bill and will support its passage onto the statue books.

The introduction of this Bill follows the announcement by the Government last week that it intends to bring forward proposals to end the practice of ‘conversion therapy’ as part of its LGBT Action Plan. Geraint Davies commented, ‘It is welcome news that the Government is talking the talk but we need to see them walk the walk too… The grotesque practice of gay to straight conversion therapy, which is often based on religious fundamentalism rather than evidence-based treatment, has driven many victims to suicide, and shows no evidence of changing individuals’ sexuality.’

The Bill has cross-party support and is scheduled to have its second reading on 26 October. Geraint Davies brought forward a similar bill in 2014.

Humanists UK’s Campaigns Officer Rachel Taggart-Ryan commented, ‘So-called “conversion therapy” or “gay cure therapy” can be both physically and psychologically harmful and has no medical evidence base. We’ve been campaigning for a change in the law for many years and welcome the introduction of this Bill. A ban on these “therapies” is long-overdue.’

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK’s Campaigns Officer Rachel Taggart-Ryan on rachel@humanism.org.uk or 0207 324 3065

Read more on our campaigns on ‘conversion therapy’ https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/human-rights-and-equality/conversion-therapy/

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and campaigning work, we’re committed to creating a fair and equal society for all.

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