The UK government has announced plans to publish a draft bill that would ban the practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill, which is being introduced by the country’s Culture Minister, aims to protect individuals who are targeted on the basis of their sexuality or transgender status.
Conversion therapy, also known as “gay cure” therapy, is a controversial practice that has been widely discredited by medical and psychological organizations. It involves using various techniques, such as counseling, hypnosis, and even electroconvulsive therapy, to try to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The proposed bill would make it illegal for individuals and organizations to offer conversion therapy services to anyone under 18 years of age, and would also make it illegal to advertise or promote such services. Penalties for those found guilty of breaking the law could include fines and prison sentences.
The Culture Minister stated that the draft bill is being introduced to protect the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The minister added that the government is committed to creating a society where everyone feels safe and respected.
The topic of banning conversion therapy is not only limited to the UK but also gaining momentum in other countries. Ireland’s Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, has pledged to introduce legislation that would ban conversion therapy in the country. O’Gorman, who is openly gay, has referred to conversion therapy as a “cruel process rooted in the promotion of shame” and an “exploitative” practice that can have devastating effects on individuals, particularly young people exploring their sexual identities.
This move by the Irish government to ban conversion therapy follows the footsteps of other countries such as France and Malta who have already banned conversion therapy, while Greece and Germany have prohibited its use on minors. In the United States, the use of conversion therapy on minors is banned in 20 states and more than 100 municipalities, and it is also banned in Canada. The move towards banning conversion therapy is a positive step towards protecting individuals from harmful practices and promoting acceptance and equality.
This announcement has been welcomed by LGBT rights groups, who have long campaigned for a ban on conversion therapy. They have praised the government for taking action to protect vulnerable individuals and to promote equality and acceptance. The draft bill is expected to be published in the coming months, with the government hoping to have it passed into law by the end of the year.