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Delay to consultation on conversion therapy ban ‘disappointing’ – rights group

·2-min read
A consultation on banning conversion therapy has been delayed by a month (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA) (PA Archive)
A consultation on banning conversion therapy has been delayed by a month (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA) (PA Archive)

One of the UK’s largest LGBTQ rights groups has branded the Government’s decision to delay its consultation on banning conversion therapy as “deeply disappointing”.

The consultation on banning the practice, which attempts to change people’s sexuality or gender identity, had been due to commence this month but has now been pushed back until late October.

The plans for a consultation ahead of a ban were announced as part of the Queen’s Speech in May this year.

Number 10 said the process was necessary to ensure the action it takes is “proportionate, effective and does not have unintended consequences”.

A spokesman added the future ban would be designed to ensure medical professionals, religious leaders, teachers and parents will still be able to have open and honest conversations.

We urge the Government to set a new deadline for the public consultation as soon as possible, as part of their commitment to a ban

Nancy Kelley, Stonewall

The further delay – first reported by the BBC – has been met with dismay by Stonewall chief executive Nancy Kelley.

“It is deeply disappointing that the Government has delayed its plans to ban conversion therapy,” she said.

“While this barbaric practice is legal, LGBTQ+ people remain at risk of abuse and harm.

“We urge the Government to set a new deadline for the public consultation as soon as possible, as part of their commitment to a ban.”

Ms Kelley has previously criticised the Government for dragging its feet over the ban, pointing out in May it has been almost three years since the law was first proposed.

A spokesman for the Government’s Equality Hub said it was seeking to ban the practice “in a manner that is effective”.

“As a global leader on LGBT rights, this Government is committed to banning the practice of conversion therapy,” he said.

“We will be launching a consultation seeking views on our plans to ban the practice in a manner that is effective. More details will be announced shortly.”

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