UK Conversion Therapy Ban to Go Ahead But Excludes Trans People

The United Kingdom government announced on March 31 that it will proceed with banning conversion therapy after sparking backlash, but it will not cover transgender people.

The government insisted that it will ban so-called conversion therapy after an earlier announcement that it would drop the ban entirely.

According to ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson “changed his mind” after facing criticism sparked by a leaked government document revealing the plan to abandon the ban.

“I’m told that the Prime Minister was shifted by the strength of reaction from Conservative [members of parliament] and ministers when they saw the story break,” Brand said on Twitter.

Brand added that a senior government source said that the ban will be in the Queen’s Speech in May.

However, the latest announcement said that the ban would only be for cisgender people — those whose gender identity is in line with their biological sex — and not for transgender people, sparking new criticism.

“A ban on conversion therapy that is not LGBTQIA+ inclusive is not a real ban on conversion therapy. Trans and nonbinary people should be protected from the dangerous practice,” The Rainbow Project, an LGBTQIA+ organization in Northern Ireland, said on Twitter.

The Rainbow Project described the latest announcement as “simply beyond outrageous” as it came on International Transgender Day of Visibility.

According to the government’s 2017 national LGBT survey, transgender people were twice as likely to have been offered conversion therapy than gay and bisexual people.

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