UK government will ban gay conversion therapy, changing previous plan

by Reuters
Thursday, 31 March 2022 23:54 GMT

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly question time debate in Parliament in London, Britain March 30, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government has come under increasing pressure on the issue after former leader Theresa May vowed in 2018 to ban the practise

LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - The UK government will ban conversion therapy for gay or bisexual people in England and Wales, but not for transgender people, ITV reported on Thursday.

Hours earlier the government had confirmed an ITV report it would drop a plan to introduce legislation to ban LGBT conversion therapy and would instead review how existing law could be utilised more effectively to prevent it.

That prompted an angry response from LGBT groups and some lawmakers.

"The Prime Minister has changed his mind off the back of the reaction to our report and he WILL now ban conversion therapy after all," ITV political reporter Paul Brand tweeted.

"Senior Govt source absolutely assures me it'll be in Queen's Speech (of planned legislation). But only gay conversion therapy, not trans," he said.

A Downing Street spokesperson declined to comment.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government has come under increasing pressure on the issue after former leader Theresa May vowed in 2018 to eradicate a procedure that aims to change or suppress someone's sexual orientation or gender identity.

In May last year, when the government set out its post-pandemic parliamentary agenda, it said measures would be brought forward to prevent these "abhorrent practices which can cause mental and physical harm", starting with a consultation on how best to protect people and how to eliminate coercive practices.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by David Gregorio and Rosalba O'Brien)