UK: Trans community will be included in so-called conversion therapy ban

The transgender community will be protected under plans to outlaw so-called conversion therapy, the equalities minister has told ITV News. Calls for the Tory government to implement a ban on the practice have grown since former Prime Minister Theresa May first pledged to stamp it out in 2018. After several high-profile resignations from the government’s LGBT+ Advisory Panel over Whitehall’s perceived sluggishness on the issue, Liz Truss recommitted to a ban. So-called conversion therapy seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity. As our previous investigations at ITV News have shown, conversion therapy involves a range of practices. In extreme cases it can involve rape and exorcism, but it often takes more subtle forms, including prayer and spiritual guidance. Some christians and Conservative MPs have lobbied the government to make allowances for religious freedoms, but campaigners say only a complete ban will ensure the safety of vulnerable people who often consent to conversion therapy without realising the damage it does.