News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Government confirms conversion therapy ban plans in Queen's Speech

by Kelly Valencia

The government has committed to bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy for a second consecutive year.

During the Queen's Speech, Prince Charles read the government's intention to stop "abhorrent practices which do not work and cause extensive harm" and protect people's freedom to love whom they want. 

Although Theresa May first outlined plans to ban conversion therapy in 2018, it was only last year that the government committed to bring forward legislation to ban the practice.

However, the bill has been postponed several times due to a series of U-turns by the government. The latest being a leaked document by ITV revealing the government's intention to drop the legislation altogether. 

But after intense backlash from MPs and LGBT leaders, the government backtracked and said the Bill was going to be included in this year's Queen's speech but it will only ban "gay conversion therapy, not trans". 

The government has now confirmed the exclusion of transgender people from the conversion therapy ban but said it "will carry out separate work to consider the issue of Transgender Conversion Therapy further."

It means the legislation will outlaw practices which seek to change someone's sexuality but not those which seek to change people's sexual identity.

"Whilst I'm naturally relieved to see that the government are still committed to banning "conversion therapy", it is of great concern that they are creating so many loopholes and leaving so many people unprotected," Jayne Ozanne, chair of the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition said on Twitter. 

"The government's own research shows that trans people are twice as likely to be offered "conversion therapy" and it is an utter disgrace that they have purposefully omitted them from the ban," she added. 

But for those Christian leaders who have been campaigning against the conversion therapy ban, worried because of potential criminalisation of prayer or traditional Christian views, the legislation could turn into an "LGBT blasphemy law, criminalising the mere expression of opinions."

Simon Calvert, spokesperson for the Let Us Pray campaign, said: "The Government says it wants to protect religious freedoms in the legislation but many of those calling for the ban simply do not agree with them. They want the ban to be a new speech crime - a kind of LGBT blasphemy law - to criminalise those who express the 'wrong' opinions."

"By pushing forward with a ban the Government risks handing these activists a veto on the ordinary, innocent, everyday practices of churches," he concluded. 

A government spokesperson said: "The government has a proud record on LGBT rights, and the government is committed to bringing forward legislation to ban conversion therapy.

"Recognising the complexity of issues and need for further careful thought, we will carry out separate work to consider the issue of transgender conversion therapy further.

"This is a legally complex area and we have a responsibility to ensure unintended consequences are not written into legislation, particularly in the case of under 18s."  

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email