Government extends consultation on Conversion Therapy

The government this morning announced that its current consultation, around legislation to ban Conversion Therapy, is to be extended by eight weeks.

The government’s stated reason for the extension is to ensure that the widest possible range of views are taken into account. It gives those who have not yet had the chance to respond, the chance to do so. The government has been consulting with faith leaders, clinicians, and LGBT stakeholders.

The government insists the delay does not change its intent, announced in the Queen’s Speech in May, to ban conversion therapy.

Liz Truss, who remains Minister for Women and Equalities, as well as Foreign Secretary, today said, “We are absolutely committed to a ban which will make sure LGBT people can live their lives free from the threat of harm or abuse, whilst protecting free speech as well as protecting under-18s from being channelled into a irreversible decisions about their future.”

The focus for the proposed ban is on those who actively seek to change someone’s sexuality or transgender status, with protection for young people a particular priority.

Casual conversations and supportive conversations which do not pressure someone down one path or another, are not covered within the scope of the proposed legislation. The government is also keen to emphasize that simply expressing the teachings of a religion or private prayer, will not constitute conversion therapy within its proposed legal changes.

The consultation will now close on 4 February 2022. It can be responded to here –