Gay and transgender conversion therapy won’t be outlawed
PLANS to ban gay conversion therapy will not become law before the next election after being downgraded in the King’s Speech.
Whitehall sources said the proposed ban will not be included when Charles outlines the Government’s new legislative programme on Tuesday. Ministers will instead promise to bring forward draft legislation for consultation in a bid to appease campaigners.
One Whitehall source said: ‘Realistically, there is no chance of it becoming law this side of an election.’ Another confirmed the proposals have been kicked into the long grass, adding: ‘Ministers still don’t really have answers on what exactly needs to be made illegal that is not already illegal, and how you do that without trampling on the rights of parents, teachers and others to talk to children about their situation.’
The law would ban institutions from offering conversion therapy and claiming to be able to stop people being gay or transgender – though some MPs feared it may unintentionally criminalise parents or teachers giving gender identity advice to children.
Theresa May first promised to ban it five years ago, a pledge renewed by Boris Johnson in 2020.
Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has proposed any ban should incorporate a duty on GPs to require children to undergo counselling before referring them for any medical procedures.
Tory MP Nick Fletcher said: ‘Nobody wants to see anyone verbally or physically bullied into making a decision they don’t want. But the law is already there to protect those who need that protection.’
Downing Street described gay conversion therapy as ‘abhorrent’ but declined to comment ahead of the King’s Speech. The Prime Minister had considered dropping the proposal completely, but it was kept alive following an intervention by chief whip Simon Hart.
‘Kicked into the long grass’