The government today moved forward on its commitment to protect LGBT people and especially those aged under 18 from harmful conversion therapies.
Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, launched a six-week consultation on how to make coercive conversion therapies illegal.
It is intended that the new laws will protect LGBT people, and especially under 18s. The government intends to fund support for victims of conversion therapy, including a helpline.
Truss announced her intention to introduce a legislative ban on conversion therapy last May. Such therapies seek to change people’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The law will introducing a new offence for so-called talking conversion therapies, will ensure those found guilty of conversion therapy offences have any profit they obtained from those crimes removed, and strengthen the case for individuals to be disqualified from holding a senior role in a charity where they are convicted of a conversion therapy offence.
Conversion therapy protection orders will be introduced to protect potential victims from undergoing the practice, including abroad. This could include removing passports of potential victims, who are at risk of being taken overseas for conversion therapy.
The aim is to prepare and introduce legislation in spring next year.
Truss said: “There should be no place for the abhorrent practice of coercive conversion therapy in our society.
“Today we are publishing detailed proposals that will stop appalling conversion therapies and make sure LGBT people can live their lives free from the threat of harm or abuse.
“As we build back better from the pandemic, I want everyone to be able to love who they want and be themselves. Today’s announcement sets out how we will ban an archaic practice that has no place in modern life.”
Minister for Equalities, Mike Freer, said:“Everybody should be safe to be themselves at home, in the workplace and going about their daily lives. That is why we have set out these proposals to ban coercive conversion therapy and stop it impacting on the lives of people in this country.
“Input from victims and stakeholder groups will be vital and I urge everyone to have their say, making sure the ban puts an end to these practices, once and for all.”