Trans People Will Now Be Included In Conversion Therapy Ban

Protections for trans people from conversion therapy will now be included in a new law designed to ban the pracitce, the government has announced.

Culture secretary Michelle Donelan told MPs on Tuesday a draft bill would be published shortly.

Conversion therapy is the use of methods, such as aversive stimulation or religious counselling, to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation.

It is also used in an attempt to persuade trans people to alter their gender identity to correspond with the sex they had at birth.

It has been described by NHS England as “unethical and potentially harmful”.

Boris Johnson triggered a backlash - including for many Tory MPs - last year when he decided to abandon his pledge to include trans people in the ban.

But Rishi Sunak has reversed that position and is keeping the promise first made in 2018 by Theresa May.

In a written statement to parliament, Donelan said: “The bill will protect everyone, including those targeted on the basis of their sexuality, or being transgender.

“We recognise the strength of feeling on the issue of harmful conversion practices and remain committed to protecting people from these practices and making sure they can live their lives free from the threat of harm or abuse.”

She added: “The legislation must not, through a lack of clarity, harm the growing number of children and young adults experiencing gender related distress, through inadvertently criminalising or chilling legitimate conversations parents or clinicians may have with their children.”

Tory MP Alicia Kearns, who has campaigned for trans people to be included, said the announcement meant there was now a “timeline to end these heinous practices”.

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The announcement came amid a fierce row between Westminster and the Scottish government after the UK government said it would block Scotland’s move to make it easier for people to legally change their gender.

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