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World News

Labour promise gay conversion ban with 'no loopholes'

by Marcus Jones

The Labour Party says it will introduce new legislation to ban gay conversion therapy with no loopholes, if it wins next year's general election.

It comes as the Government continues to delay announcing its plans for a ban, with concerns from a variety of religious groups of the potential impact on them.

Speaking at Labour Party conference, shadow equalities secretary Anneliese Dodds reaffirmed a commitment to a full ban. Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, she followed up by saying: "So-called conversion therapy is abuse.

"It’s astonishing this hasn’t been banned five years after the Conservatives promised.

"Labour will deliver where the Conservatives have failed by bringing in a full, no loopholes ban on conversion therapy."

Thousands of church leaders have added their signatures to campaigns urging politicians to rethink plans.

While backing a ban on certain treatments, they are worried that a full ban would prevent them being able to pray with someone who had unwanted same-sex attraction.

Simon Calvert from the Christian Institute summarised the concern by referring to a ban which was recently introduced in Australia.

He said: “Religious believers could undoubtedly experience the worst effects of this sort of law.

"As we have seen in Victoria, it won’t take long for state bodies to feel they have the right to dictate to churches what they can and cannot teach and precisely how to pray.

"Those who refuse to ditch the teaching of the Bible could soon find themselves at the mercy of the criminal justice system.”

The government says it will produce a draft bill on this issue before the next general election. If there are further delays, Labour is preparing should it enter government after the election next year.

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