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UK has the opportunity to lead the way in developing a truly effective ban around conversion practices for LGBT+ people

12 May 2021

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) coalition on conversion therapy welcomes the news that the government will lead a short consultation to ensure the ban is watertight for both mental health professionals and LGBT+ people who use mental health services.

Chair of the MoU, Igi Moon, said:

"The news that the government is bringing forward measures to ban conversion therapy is welcome.

The wording of a national ban has to be considered extremely carefully to ensure it is truly effective.

The United Kingdom has a long history of championing and developing LGTB+ equality and this ban could lead the way on a global platform.

Conversion therapy appears in many guises and simply by using different terminology LGBT+ people are still potentially at threat of entering into psychologically damaging spaces’, which is why it is crucial the ban is watertight.

We look forward to contributing to the consultation to ensure this ban works.”

The MoU is encouraged to see the announcement of the fund to help LGBT+ people impacted by conversion therapy, due to launch this summer.

Jeremy Clarke, deputy-chair of the MoU, said:

“The needs of survivors and victims are of the utmost importance and ensuring people get the support they need is vital.

The MoU hopes to work closely with government and with devolved administrations to help set up these services urgently, so they are equally available to LGBT+ people across the four nations.”

The MoU appreciates that the government is aware of the need to protect mental health professionals from any unintended consequences of the ban, and is willing to assist with the consultation to ensure there are better quality services that promote mental health for all LGBT+ people.

Carolyn Mercer a 73-year-old former headteacher who underwent conversion therapy says that she is pleased the government is taking action.

“I can never be repaid for the hurt and the sadness that has taken place since that time,” she says. “But it’s good that at last, the government is doing something to help people now".

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