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Written Question
LGBT People: Gay Conversion Therapy
12 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Black of Brentwood (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had, if any, with the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives following that organisation's declaration against conversion therapy of December 2020.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UK Government funded the Global Interfaith Commission's (GiC) launch on 16 December where it delivered a declaration calling for an end to violence and criminalisation against LGBT+ people and for a global ban on conversion therapy. We remain in regular dialogue with the Director of the GiC.


Written Question
LGBT People: Gay Conversion Therapy
2 Feb 2021

Questioner: Alicia Kearns (CON - Rutland and Melton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, in which countries the UK Government is supporting efforts to end LGBTQ+ conversion therapy.

Answered by Wendy Morton

The UK plays an active role across the world in support of LGBT rights. We work through our embassies and high commissions and through international organisations, including the UN, Council of Europe, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Commonwealth, to promote non-discrimination towards LGBT people, and to address discriminatory laws. In our role as co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) with Argentina, we are ambitious about what we can achieve through delivery of the ERC's first UK led strategy that seeks to shape, guide and re-energise the ERC's work to advance LGBT equality.

Due to its highly sensitive and sometimes dangerous nature, it would not be appropriate to specify the countries our LGBT programmes operate in, but we have consistently committed funding to LGBT rights programme work. In addition to funding through our UK Aid Connect Programme and International Programme Fund, in October, we announced £3.2m of new funding to continue the work we announced during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2018 that works with civil society to support countries seeking legislative reform. We also prioritised £800,000 of funding for The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) to support civil society work to advance LGBT equality.


Written Question
Gay Conversion Therapy
23 Nov 2018

Questioner: Sarah Champion (LAB - Rotherham)

Question

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the proposed timetable is for bringing forward legislative proposals to ban gay conversion therapy.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

Conversion therapy is wrong. We are determined to bring an end to this abhorrent practice and, as we said in the LGBT Action Plan, we are considering all legislative and non-legislative options to do this.

We recognise this is a complex issue that we need to get right. We want to engage widely, and listen carefully, so that we can develop a range of measures that end these practices for good. We are conducting more detailed research into the experiences of those that have undergone conversion therapy, and will task the LGBT Advisory Panel with looking into this issue as their first priority when they meet for the first time, in the new year.

Ending these practices will take time. It is crucial we get our response right so that we protect people from harm.


Written Question
Gay Conversion Therapy
10 Jul 2018

Questioner: Kate Hollern (LAB - Blackburn)

Question

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps the Government plans to take to make gay conversion therapy illegal; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

This Government is clear that so-called conversion or reparative therapies are wrong. Being LGBT is not an illness, and LGBT people do not need to be “cured”.

On 3 July 2018, the Government published the results from last year’s national LGBT survey. We were shocked to find that 2% of respondents to the survey had undertaken conversion therapy, and a further 5% had been offered it.

These practices have no place in our society, and we are committed to ending these activities. We have now published an LGBT Action Plan responding to the findings from the national survey.

As part of the action plan, we have committed to exploring all legislative and non-legislative options to end this abhorrent practice. We will bring forward proposals to prevent promoting, offering or practicing these heinous acts.


Written Question
Gay Conversion Therapy
3 Jul 2018

Questioner: Sarah Champion (LAB - Rotherham)

Question

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June to Question 148680 on LGBT people: surveys, whether she has carried out an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Memorandum of Understanding in stopping gay conversion therapy.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

Our National LGBT survey shows that the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy is still alive in our country. The Government is clear that these activities are wrong, and we are not willing to let them continue.

We worked with the main registration and accreditation bodies for psychotherapy and counselling practitioners to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to tackle conversion therapy. This is a voluntary code that is managed and led by the sector.

In our LGBT Action Plan, we committed to further steps to stamp out this bogus treatment. Led by the Government Equalities Office, we will fully consider all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy. Our intent is to protect people who are vulnerable to harm or violence, whether that occurs in a medical, commercial or faith-based context.


Written Question
LGBT People: Surveys
8 Jun 2018

Questioner: Sharon Hodgson (LAB - Washington and Sunderland West)

Question

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2018 to Question 146160 on LGBT People: Surveys, whether she plans to include legislative proposals on gay conversion therapy in her Department’s LGBT Action Plan.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

This Government firmly believes that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is not an illness to be cured. We are not prepared to see such activity continue either in the regulated professional sector or outside of it and have taken action to stamp out this bogus treatment.

We have previously worked with the main registration and accreditation bodies for psychotherapy and counselling practitioners, including the UK Council for Psychotherapy, to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to put a stop to this practice.

One major hurdle to tackling this issue is the lack of robust evidence on conversion therapy in the UK. We believe that an effective policy response must be built on a solid evidence base. That is why we included questions on conversion therapy in the National LGBT Survey, which received over 100,000 responses.

Officials in the Government Equalities Office are analysing the results of the survey, including those on conversion therapy. These results will be published shortly. As the Prime Minister announced last month, the Government will also publish an action plan setting out steps Government will take to address the survey findings.


Written Question
Gay Conversion Therapy
12 Feb 2018

Questioner: Sharon Hodgson (LAB - Washington and Sunderland West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to criminalise the practice of gay conversion therapy.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

This Government is clear that a person’s sexual orientation is not an illness to be cured and we are not prepared to see such activity continue either in the regulated professional sector or outside of it.

The Government has already taken steps to prevent the practice of gay conversion therapy in the UK. We have worked with the main registration and accreditation bodies for psychotherapy and counselling practitioners to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to put a stop to this bogus treatment.

We do not currently have plans to introduce new criminal offences for practising gay conversion therapy, but we are keeping the issue under close review.

In 2017, the Government Equalities Office carried out a survey of the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the UK, which included several questions about gay conversion therapy. The survey received more than 100,000 responses, making it one of the largest surveys of LGBT people’s experiences ever conducted.

The results of the survey are currently being analysed and the Government’s response will be published later this year. Due to the significant response rate to the survey, we believe this data will give us a much better view of the scale and significance of conversion therapy in the UK, and it will allow us to investigate further the steps that Government as a whole could take to address this issue.