On Tuesday, the United Kingdom announced it would ban what the LGBT lobby describes as conversion therapy in England and Wales. The ban will include the outlawing of trans conversion therapy.
Previous leaders had promised to introduce the law, but had backtracked on including trans people in the legislation, according to an article at news.sky.com, with worries that a ban including transgender people could have “unintended consequences.”
Campaigners against the ban say it will cast prayer, spiritual advice and certain types of consensual conversations as “conversion therapy” and cause a serious infringement on free speech and human rights.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of London-based Christian Concern, said in a statement that legislating in this area is plagued with problems, and the government’s own research suggests that it is not necessary.
“It will end up criminalising consensual conversations with those who genuinely want help and support,” Williams said. “Human rights will be breached and any legislation will be the subject of extensive legal challenge.”
Conversion therapy can include talking therapies and prayer, but more extreme forms can include exorcism, physical violence and food deprivation, according to an article at BBC.com.
“No one has produced any evidence of what LGBT activists call coercive ‘conversion therapy,’” Williams said. “What the activists describe would already be illegal. This ban is all about silencing and criminalising anyone who questions or opposes homosexuality.”
The government’s proposals would only stop people seeking the change they want to see in their lives, she added. That is a basic freedom that the government should not try to take away.
“Despite what the government has announced today, the problems remain: the definitions are inadequate, human rights will be breached and there is no evidence that a ban will help anyone,” her statement continued. “In such a scenario the Christian Legal Centre faces no alternative but to continue preparations for legal action against any proposed legislation in this area.”
International human rights lawyer Roger Kiska has produced a thorough legal opinion showing that any ban to conversion therapy would breach human rights.
A policy to ban conversion therapy has been proposed several times by successive Conservative Party-led governments, starting with Theresa May back in 2018, according to the article at news.sky.com. Boris Johnson also supported the move, but after a raft of U-turns, he eventually dropped provisions concerning trans people last year.
U.K. Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said in a written statement that the bill would be published shortly and would “protect everyone, including those targeted on the basis of their sexuality, or being transgender.”
Vuk Valcic / Alamy Live News