Join Donate

Government restates its commitment to banning ‘gay conversion therapy’

Boris Johnson has reiterated the Government’s pledge to bring forward a ban on ‘gay conversion therapy’, which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation through harmful pseudoscientific therapies, calling such practices ‘absolutely abhorrent’.

Humanists UK and LGBT Humanists, which have campaigned for such a ban for many years and met with the Government Equalities Office almost two years ago on this issue, cautiously welcomed Mr Johnson’s reaffirming of the commitment of Theresa May’s Government for action on this issue under its 2018 LGBT action plan but expressed some disappointment not to have seen faster progress.

Humanists UK’s Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson commented, ‘Although today’s announcement is welcome, we are disappointed that there has been so little movement on this over the last two years. The Prime Minister stated that the Government will now seek to study the prevalence of conversion therapy and then bring forward plans to ban it. This is what was also promised back in 2018, and we were under the impression that the Government had spent the last two years carrying out the necessary research to implement legislation.

‘We hope the Government now proceeds to bring about a legislative ban as a matter of urgency, as every day that conversion therapy is allowed to continue in this country is another day that LGBT people will be subjected to practices that can cause serious harm and even the loss of life.’’


For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.

Read more about our work on ending conversion therapy:

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

Search Humanists UK