UK Announces New Initiative to Outlaw Conversion Therapy

The British government has announced plans to outlaw gay conversion therapy as a part of a new comprehensive plan titled the “LGBT Action Plan.”  The initiative is a sweeping effort to increase the quality of life of all LGBTQ+ citizens in the UK.

The new initiative will consider "legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy." The £4.5 million initiative is in response to a national survey of LGBTQ+ citizens that found that 2% of the 108,000 respondents had undergone conversion therapy while 5% had been offered it. The survey results also provide insight into the discrimination faced by lesbians, gays, bisexual and trans people in Great Britain, with more than two-thirds of the participants reporting that they avoid holding hands with a same-sex partner in public out of fear that people will react negatively.

While the government did not offer a specific definition of "conversion therapy," its report said the practice, "can range from pseudo-psychological treatments to, in extreme cases, surgical interventions and 'corrective' rape." The government plan includes appointing a national LGBT health advisor, extending an anti-homophobic bullying program in schools, and improving the recording and reporting of LGBT hate crimes.

After years of harrowing abuse under the guise of guidance and medical therapy, it is touching to know that LGBTQ+ Brits could have a brighter future to look forward to - in the words of Prime Minister, Theresa May,  “No one should ever have to hide who they are, or who they love.”

Further reading:

LGBT Action Plan (UK Government Equalities Office)

UK government to ban 'gay conversion therapy' (CNN)


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