Closed petition Safeguard evidence-based therapy for children struggling with gender dysphoria

We are deeply concerned by the possibility of normal therapeutic practices being banned alongside conversion therapy.

We ask the government not to criminalise essential, explorative therapy. Such well-meaning legislation might ironically deny vulnerable children the help they need.

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Studies show that many dysphoric children will come to identify as their biological sex. We have seen a worrying number of young people de-transitioning and regretting medical treatment.

Explorative therapy can be effective for those with gender dysphoria and does not remove the option of medical treatment, if required.

Children with gender dysphoria do not fit a ‘one size model’ and need access to a range of therapeutic options. Criminalising therapy removes this choice.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 5 July 2021

Government will ban conversion therapy, maintain safeguards for young people from inappropriate interventions and uphold the independence of clinicians supporting those experiencing gender dysphoria.

Read the response in full

Conversion therapy is an abhorrent practice that this government will ban.

We will ensure that any action we take will be proportionate and effective and does not have unintended consequences.

We will protect free speech, uphold the individual freedoms we all hold dear and protect under-18s from irreversible decisions.

We will ensure parents, teachers and medical professionals are able to safeguard young people from inappropriate interventions and are clear that this ban must not impact on the independence and confidence of clinicians to support those who may be experiencing gender dysphoria. We will be working with stakeholders, including medical experts, to ensure we do not inhibit people seeking support.

We will be launching a consultation, which will provide experts and those impacted by conversion therapy with a formal opportunity to feed in views.

We are proud that the UK is a leader on LGBT equality at home and abroad, having legalised same-sex marriage and introduced one of the world’s most comprehensive legislative frameworks for protecting LGBT people from violence and discrimination.

We want to ensure everybody can live their lives free from discrimination and violence and prosper in a modern Britain and banning conversion therapy is the next step in ensuring this.

Government Equalities Office

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:

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:

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:

Read the transcript here:

You can find out more about this debate and conversion therapy in the House of Commons Library briefing produced for this debate:

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:

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:

The Committee will hold a second evidence session on Tuesday 30 November, with a Government Minister. Updates about these sessions will be posted here:

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:

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:

You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:

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

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