Closed petition Make LGBT conversion therapy illegal in the UK

I would like the Government to:
• make running conversion therapy in the UK a criminal offence
• forcing people to attend said conversion therapies a criminal offence
• sending people abroad in order to try to convert them a criminal offence
• protect individuals from conversion therapy

More details

Despite all major counselling and psychotherapy bodies in the UK, including the NHS, condemning LGBT conversion therapy, it is still legal and LGBT individuals in the UK are still exposed to this psychological and emotional abuse to this day. The very thought of this sickens me, and I would like to see it stopped one day.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

256,392 signatures

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 8 March 2021

Watch the petition 'Make LGBT conversion therapy illegal in the UK' being debated

Government responded

This response was given on 21 May 2020

The Government is committed to ensuring all citizens feel safe and protected from harm. We will work to deepen our understanding and consider all options for ending the practice of conversion therapy.

Read the response in full

It is a fundamental principle of this Government that everyone should be free to live their lives as they wish. People must feel safe at home, out on the street and online.

Conversion therapy is a very complex issue. There are a wide range of practices which may fall within its scope and we want to ensure we have a thorough understanding of the situation in the UK to inform an effective approach. Before any decision is made on proposals for ending conversion therapy we must understand the problem, the range of options available and the impact they would have.

It is important to stress that certain abhorrent and violent practices which may be classed as conversion therapy such as ‘corrective’ rape, or other forms of physical abuse, are already covered by existing criminal offences. Where such practices are already unlawful, we will ensure the law is clear, well understood and enforced. Where dangerous conversion therapy practices are not already unlawful, we will examine the best ways to prevent them being conducted, without sending such practices underground. As we have said previously, we are not trying to prevent LGBT people from seeking spiritual support from their faith leader or others in the exploration of their sexual orientation.

The UK Government is committed to ensuring all citizens feel safe and are protected from harm. This is why we will work to deepen our understanding and consider all options for ending the practice of conversion therapy.

Government Equalities Office

Other parliamentary business

Petitions Committee asks the Government for an update on plans to ban ‘conversion therapy’

The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) has written to Elizabeth Truss MP, Minister for Women and Equalities, to request further information about the Government’s plans to ban LGBT ‘conversion therapy’. In the letter, the Committee asks for more detail on proposals for ending so-called ‘conversion therapy’, and an update on when changes to the law might be brought forward.

Catherine McKinnell MP (Chair of the Committee) and Elliot Colburn MP (a member of the Committee) highlight in the letter that, in addition to the current petition with over 200,000 signatures, there have also been two large petitions on this issue in previous years. They also note that despite its inclusion in the Government’s 2018 LGBT Action Plan, legislation has still not been introduced.

You can read the full letter here:

What is the Petitions Committee?

The Petitions Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that considers e-petitions submitted on Parliament’s petitions website and public (paper) petitions presented to the House of Commons. It is independent of the Government.

You can get updates on its work by following the Committee on Twitter:
or on the website:

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:

Find out more about how petitions work:

Government responds to request for an update on plans to ban ‘conversion therapy’

The Petitions Committee has today published a letter from Elizabeth Truss MP, Minister for Women and Equalities. This was in response to the Committee’s request for an update on the Governments plans to ban ‘conversion therapy’.

You can read the response in full here:

You can find the original letter to the Minister here:

Follow the Committee on Twitter for updates on our work on this issue and others:

MPs call for Government to bring forward promised legislation to ban conversion therapy

The Chair of the Liaison Committee, which brings together the Chairs of every House of Commons Committee, including the Petitions Committee, has written to the Government to urge them to bring forward legislation to ban the practice of conversion therapy.

The Petitions Committee asked for this legislation to be requested, following the petitions it has continued to receive on this issue and the repeated commitments made by the Government in response.

The Chair of the Liaison Committee said:

“The Government’s programme has been understandably impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. But now that this is closer to being under control, we would urge the Government to deliver on its commitments to and demands from select committees on other vitally important legislation which committees are keen to see brought forward.”

Find out more and read the letter:

Further information

The current 'Parliamentary session' is expected to finish around May this year. At the start of the new session the Government will announce its plans for introducing new laws and policies over the next year.

What is the Liaison Committee?

The Liaison Committee is a group of MPs who Chair other House of Commons Select Committees, including the Chair of the Petitions Committee.

Find out more about the Liaison Committee:

Find out how Select Committees work: 

When will this petition be debated?

The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee have agreed to schedule a debate on this petition as soon as possible. We'll let you know as soon as the date for the debate is confirmed.

Petitions Committee schedules debate on LGBT conversion therapy

On Monday 8 March, MPs will debate this petition relating to LGBT conversion therapy.

Watch the debate (from 6.15pm, Monday 8 March):
Read the transcript (available shortly after the conclusion of the debate):
Follow the Committee on Twitter and join the discussion using #LGBTConversionTherapyPetition

The debate will be led by Petitions Committee member Elliot Colburn MP. MPs from all parties can take part, and the Government will send a Minister to respond.

What are petitions debates?

Petitions debates are ‘general’ debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.

Government announces plans to ban LGBT 'conversion therapy'

On Tuesday 11 May, the Government announced its plans to ban LGBT 'conversion therapy', as part of the Queen's Speech. The Government's plans are intended to introduce laws which will protect people from being subjected to the practice.

The Government has also announced the creation of a support fund for LGBT people impacted by 'conversion therapy'.

Read more about the Government's plans here:

Read the Queen's Speech background briefing notes for more information on the Government's proposed Bills:

What is the Queen's Speech?

The Queen's Speech is the speech that the Queen reads out in the House of Lords Chamber on the occasion of the State Opening of Parliament.

It's written by the Government and sets out the programme of Bills - new laws, and changes to existing laws - that the Government intends to put forward in this new Parliamentary session. A session of Parliament usually lasts around one year.

Once the Government puts forward a Bill in Parliament, Parliament then debates the Government's proposal and decides whether to adopt the changes to the law set out in the Bill.