Proposed Conversion Therapy bans mired in uncertainty

Sep 20, 2023

UK bans on ‘conversion therapy’ are beset with difficulties, as concerns grow about their potential impact on children and freedom of religion and belief.

The Scottish Government has admitted it will not legislate on conversion therapy this year, amid fears it could criminalise parents who question their child’s wish to change gender. It will run a consultation that will not report until next year.

After press stories of disagreements over precise wording and content, the Westminster Government’s legislation is also expected to be pushed back, at the very least. One source familiar with Government thinking told The Daily Telegraph that the idea of a legislative ban now appears to be “dead in the water”.

It comes as a poll finds very little public interest in a ban. Just four per cent said they saw it as a priority, ranking it 22nd of 23 priorities. Even among young people, just nine per cent deemed it a priority.

Conversion therapy is a broad term picked by LGBT campaigners. It covers abusive practices that are largely illegal already, but campaigners want to go much further and criminalise anything that discourages people from acting on same-sex attraction or gender confusion.

Critics have warned of the implications the plans could have on real marriage. Under a ban, it would still be legal for a vicar to counsel a married man against heterosexual adultery, but it might not be if it was about homosexual adultery. Commentator Douglas Murray, an atheist gay man, has warned of this danger.

One prominent activist, Jayne Ozanne, who chairs the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition, even stated she regards parents as “the problem” in relation to gender-confused children.

C4M is very glad to hear that the legislation is faltering. The last thing this country needs is more laws that prevent people from getting the help they need to protect their marriage or live in line with their biological sex. Abusive practices are already illegal. It must not become a crime for parents or church leaders to disagree with LGBT ideology.