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Boris Johnson promises ban on 'gay conversion therapy'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

2 min read

Boris Johnson has pledged to implement a ban on "abhorrent" practices aimed at changing a person's sexual orientation.

The Prime Minister promised a Government review of so-called gay conversion therapies in the UK, as well as action to stamp them out. 

He told ITV News: "I think that's absolutely abhorrent and has no place in a civilized society, has no place in this country.

"What we're going to do is a study right now on where is this actually happening, how prevalent is it, and we will then bring forward plans to ban it."

Mr Johnson also promised a full update on whether the Government has plans to update the Gender Recognition Act - including whether to allow self-identifiation, which would make it easier for people to change their gender marker on official documents - over the summer.

Conversion 'therapies' - classed as any activity or talking-based treatments aimed at making a person change their sexual orientation - have been found to be harmful by leading psychological experts.

On online Government study on LGBT issues, carried out in 2018 during Theresa May's term as Prime Minister, found 51% of the 108,000 who responded had to wait too long for access to mental health services.

The study of some of the difficulties facing LGBT people living in the UK also revealed that 2% had undergone 'conversion therapy' with a further 5% having been offered it.

But Liberal Democrat leadership contender Layla Moran accused the Government of "dragging its feet" on the issue, after tabling a motion in Parliament to ban conversion therapy last month which won the backing of 21 MPs.

"No-one should be told that their identity is wrong and needs to be cured," she said.

"We have already waited two years for action on this vital issue. Young people who are being subjected to this harmful and outdated practice should not be made to wait any longer."


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