This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government
Petition Make offering Gay Conversion Therapy a criminal offence in the UK
After events around the world such as the Orlando shootings and Trump's election, many members of the LGBT+ community no longer feel safe in the UK.
This legislation would help these people feel safer and more able to be open about their true identity.
Conversion Therapy is counselling or training which attempts to 'reverse' a person's non-heterosexual identity. This therapy often includes electric shocks, counselors encouraging suicide, and damaging ideology linking LGBT+ identities to sexual abuse from family members in early years.
It is scientifically proven that this therapy does not work
This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website
This response was given on 15 March 2017
This Government does not believe that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is an illness to be treated.
Read the response in full
Gay conversion therapy is an attempt to use therapeutic approaches to change a person’s sexual orientation. It is sometimes known as ‘reparative’ or ‘gay cure’ therapy. The Government fully recognise the importance of this issue and the adverse impact this treatment could have on lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.
There is no evidence that this sort of treatment is beneficial, and indeed it may well cause significant harm to some patients. It is incumbent on professionals working in the National Health Service to ensure that treatment and care, including therapy, is provided to every patient without any form of discrimination.
This Government is committed to tackling discrimination towards LGB people.
That is why we have already worked with the main registration and accreditation bodies for psychotherapy and counselling practitioners, including the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), to develop first a consensus statement and then a Memorandum of Understanding committing signatory organisations to a range of activities including training and awareness raising amongst their members in relation to this issue. This Government has already taken the necessary steps to prevent the practice of gay conversion therapy in the UK.
Department of Health
Other parliamentary business
Petitions Committee Chair writes to the Department of Health
As you know, the Government responded to this petition on 15 March.
The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) looks at all Government responses to petitions. In this case, the Committee didn’t think that the Government's response gave a clear answer to the request made by the petition. The Chair of the Committee, Helen Jones MP, wrote to the Department of Health to ask for a more detailed response. The Government Minister responsible has now replied.
You can read the Chair's letter and the reply from the Government here:
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