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

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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: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/2172/documents/20109/default/

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: https://www.twitter.com/hocpetitions
or on the website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Find out more about how petitions work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGEOraE08Jk&feature=youtu.be

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: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/2677/documents/26594/default/

You can find the original letter to the Minister here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/2172/documents/20109/default/

Follow the Committee on Twitter for updates on our work on this issue and others: https://www.twitter.com/hocpetitions

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: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/103/liaison-committee-commons/news/139371/government-urged-to-deliver-on-its-commitments-for-queens-speech/

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: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/103/liaison-committee-commons/

Find out how Select Committees work: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c 

When will this petition be debated?

The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee petition.parliament.uk) 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):
https://youtu.be/vl38dzzn1wc
Read the transcript (available shortly after the conclusion of the debate): https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-03-08
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: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-plan-to-ban-conversion-therapy

Read the Queen's Speech background briefing notes for more information on the Government's proposed Bills: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/queens-speech-2021-background-briefing-notes

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.

Government launches consultation on banning conversion therapy

Government launches consultation on banning conversion therapy

The Government has launched a public call for evidence to help the development of legislation for banning the practice of so-called conversion therapy, which particularly affect LGBT people.

Read a summary of the proposals, and share your views:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/banning-conversion-therapy

The call for evidence is open until 10 December 2021.

Proposals to ban conversion therapy

The Government announced its plans to ban LGBT conversion therapy as part of the Queen's speech in May 2021 and has now launched a consultation to seek views on a number of proposed measures that will apply to England and Wales, which include:

  • a ban on conversion therapy – introducing a new criminal offence alongside sentence uplifts for existing offences

  • a package of support for victims, restricting promotion of conversion therapies, removing profit streams, and strengthening the case for disqualification from holding a senior role in a charity

  • introducing Conversion Therapy Protection Orders to protect potential victims from undergoing the practice including overseas

  • exploring further measures to prevent the promotion and advertisement of conversion therapy

The Government has said responses to the consultation will inform the policy proposals and the draft legislation which is expected by spring 2022.

Who is running the consultation?

The consultation is being run by the Government Equalities Office (GEO), the Government office that leads work on policy relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality.

Find out more about the GEO:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/government-equalities-office

Petitions debate on conversion therapy

The Petitions Committee scheduled a debate on the topic of LGBT conversion therapy, which took place in Parliament on 8 March 2021

Watch the debate here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl38dzzn1wc

Read the transcript here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-03-08/debates/552D6176-C4D5-47F1-A8C1-C900B58AEB7C/LGBTConversionTherapy

You can find out more about this debate and conversion therapy in the House of Commons Library briefing produced for this debate: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cdp-2021-0030/

MPs announce evidence sessions on the Government's consultation on conversion therapy

The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee is holding two focussed sessions on conversion therapy, and will be looking at the Government's proposals to ban these practices, which are currently under public consultation.

The Committee will hold the first of two evidence sessions on the subject on Wednesday 24 November, where it will hear from two panels of witnesses, exploring different concerns about the Government’s proposals.

Watch the session from 2.30pm: https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/6b3fe0a8-92ca-4b54-ab2a-8e2831daab06

Topics to be discussed at the session will include:

  • what a definition of conversion therapy should look like

  • the issue of informed consent

  • religious freedoms

  • parental responsibilities.

You can read more about the session here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1620/the-governments-consultation-on-conversion-therapy/news/159002/mps-hold-evidence-session-on-conversion-therapy/

The Committee will hold a second evidence session on Tuesday 30 November, with a Government Minister. Updates about these sessions will be posted here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1620/the-governments-consultation-on-conversion-therapy/

The Government's consultation on banning conversion therapy

The Government is currently consulting on proposals to ban conversion therapy, and support victims of these practices. You can read a summary of the proposals, and share your views here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/banning-conversion-therapy

The consultation will close on 10 December 2021.

What is the Women and Equalities Committee?

The Women and Equalities Committee examines the work of the Government Equalities Office (GEO). It holds Government to account on equality law and policy, including the Equality Act 2010 and cross Government activity on equalities. It also scrutinises the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Find out more on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/

You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Commonswomequ

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

You can also sign up to the UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference: https://learning.parliament.uk/en/your-uk-parliament-newsletter-sign-up-form/