By Shwan Haddad
The UK Government have pledged to ban ‘Gay conversion therapy’, through the Queen’s speech reopening the UK Parliament.
This comes after years of the government being heavily criticised for not doing so previously.
The United Nations have urged the UK Government to ban it as it is ‘pseudoscientific’.
Conservatives have been pledging to ban it since 2018, when Theresa May brought the issue to light.
Now the issue has been brought to the public and we are being asked on whether or not it should be allowed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to consult the public on the matter of Gay conversion therapy.
Many took to Twitter to voice their concerns about the situation.
Twitter is ablaze with people asking questions about why this is even being left to the public.
This twitter user said:
Others argue about the fact that this ban should have been enacted years ago.
They say this due to former PM Theresa May pledging this back in 2018.
Monty Montcrieff, Podcaster and CEO at London Friend said this on the matter:
A consultation? The Government has already (supposedly!) committed to banning this harmful practice, and began talking to stakeholders THREE YEARS ago! There's consensus across all the major mental health bodies. What a cop out! #BanConversionTherapy https://t.co/YhxpR8yqW2
— Monty Moncrieff MBE (@MontyMoncrieff) May 11, 2021
Julian Phatarfod, a principle transport planner at WSP (an engineering company) had this to say on the matter:
Sorry why is this even a debate? I want to know *who* the hell running our country said "you know, I'm not sure, we should probably ask everyone first". Someone argued that this needs a consultation, and that is disgraceful. #BanConversionTherapy https://t.co/lOg0iGTUy4
— Julian Phatarfod (@jrphatarfod) May 11, 2021
Many are arguing that this move to consult the public is a dangerous one as this may not go over well.
This twitter user said:
There are those who argue that there is a religious freedom angle to this.
The Evangelical Alliance, which represents 3,500 Churches in the UK, says the ban could restrict religious freedom.
They argued that an expanded definition of conversion therapy could jeopardise church leaders, putting them at risk of prosecution.
This has brought on backlash by supporters of the ban, arguing that this isn’t a matter of religion, but human rights.
Another twitter user commented:
Others have argued that exemptions, should there be any in this ban, do not make it a ban:
#BanConversionTherapy If the ban makes exemptions for "religious freedom" and certain therapists, then it is not a ban on conversion therapy. These are the groups who practise the bulk of this torture. It is a gross abuse of human rights and requires a full ban.
— Willow (@ThatLemonEater) May 10, 2021
Religious factions have been calling for exemptions due many reason.
This is due to their core beliefs such as chastity until marriage.
Peter Lynas, UK director of the Evangelical alliance says that extreme practices should already be banned by existing laws.
But he also argues that a broadening definition would put church leaders at risk.
He is quotes as saying:
“This will threaten the everyday practices of churches, church leaders, and Christians across the UK. It would place ministry leaders at risk of arrest for encouraging young people to maintain chastity until marriage. And it would criminalise a member of a church who prays with another member when they ask for prayer to resist temptation as they are attracted to someone of the same sex but do not wish to act on it”.
How bad is the situation in the UK?
According to a UK Government Survey of 108,000 people, 5% were given the option to take conversion therapy.
The very same study also found around 2% of people had actually undergone ‘therapy’.
In most cases, this is administered by religious organisations.
Though one in five did say they received ‘therapy from an actual healthcare professional as well.
People who have undergone it have said that they felt as if it had terrible effects on them.
They say they feel, desexualised, empty, and worried about always being in the wrong.
Others feel harmed severely by the process afterwards.
A UK Study in 2019 found that gay conversion therapy could be linked to suicidal ideation.
The study found that two thirds suffered from suicidal thoughts and one fifth had attempted suicide.
So What Now?
The UK is one of the world’s leading countries of LGBTQ+ rights.
A full ban of conversion therapy would only further prove this.
Many in the public view this as an issue that should be taken care of anyway, so we are seeing a step in the right direction.