UK Cancels Global LGBT+ Conference over Trans Conversion Therapy Dispute

Britain will cancel plans for the global LGBT+ conference after more than 100 organizations pulled out over the government’s stance on conversion therapy for transgender people.

Britain had been due to host Safe To Be Me, the first international LGBT+ conference in London, to address inequality and discrimination this June.

However, a ban on conversion therapy for gay and bisexual people in England and Wales, and not including transgender people, prompted the withdrawal of more than 100 LGBT+ and HIV organizations and the cancellation of the international LGBT+ conference.

Conversion therapy refers to attempting to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity through medical, psychiatric, psychological, religious, cultural, or other interventions.

Conversion therapy is based on the belief that being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is something that needs to be ‘cured.’

The cancellation of the conference came after Iain Anderson, the UK’s first LGBT+ business champion, resigned earlier on Tuesday over the British government’s ‘profoundly shocking’ position on banning conversion therapy for transgender people.

In a public letter addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Anderson expressed his sadness and said it was wrong to create dividing lines.

“I have always made it clear… I am the LGBT+ Business Champion and not the LGB champion… Now – more than ever – we need tolerance and respect in our national conversations,” Anderson said in a tweet.

Organizations including Stonewall said they would no longer support the Safe To Be Me event due to take place in London following the decision to exclude transgender people from the ban.

Other organizations to withdraw their support for the conference include the Rainbow Project, Trades Union Congress’ LGBT Foundation, Mermaids, and the Scottish Trans Alliance.

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