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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.

More details

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.

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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.

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

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