Lib Dem conference: motion to ban conversion therapy receives overwhelming support
The party says it wants to see a total ban on conversion therapy in the UK, with no exemptions for religious practices.
On the first day of the Liberal Democrat conference, members voted overwhelmingly in favor of a motion to ban conversion therapy.
The party says it wants to see a total ban on conversion therapy in the UK, with no exemptions for religious practices. The motion was adopted by 368 votes to 44.
A 2017 government survey found that nearly one in 13 LGBTQ + people had been offered or had taken conversion therapy. This figure rises to 1 in 7 among transgender people. More than half of these conversion therapy practices are conducted by faith-based organizations.
The party also says it wants to see a criminal ban on referrals, transportation of minors abroad and all advertising for forms of conversion therapy as well as a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of conversion therapy among vulnerable people.
Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, who moved the motion, said: “Liberal Democrats have always led the way in protecting the rights of LGBTQ + people, from protecting LGBTQ + refugees and asylum seekers. of deportation in 2008, extending the rights of same-sex couples to marry. in 2010, the science and not the stigma of donating blood in 2011, supporting PrEP in 2016 and leading discussions on mental health and suicide prevention in 2019 and we are here again to ban conversion therapy in 2021.
“But why ban this practice? It’s simple. It is a heinous and harmful practice that seeks to suppress or change a sexual orientation and / or gender identity, by inducing or forcing a person to do so because it goes against what is wrong. is considered acceptable in a given society.
Adrian went on to say that the United Nations special rapporteur on torture called these practices torture in a report to the Human Rights Council in 2016.
Adrian added: “The UK government pledged in 2018 to ban conversion practices, but attempts to procrastinate have meant more proactive campaigns and motions must be put on the table to ensure that the practice is removed from our country forever. “
“The UK is currently continuing to lower the ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) index on LGBTQ rights. While in 2015, at the end of our term in government, we were at the top of the 49 countries on the list, we are now out of the top 10, overtaken by Malta, the Scandinavian countries like Finland and Sweden, Portugal, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium to name a few. Even countries like Albania and Germany have already legislated against conversion practices.
Adrian stressed that conversion therapy has no medical or therapeutic value and said that, according to the 2008 Faith and Sexuality Survey, the vast majority of organizations practicing conversion therapy were of religious origin.
“It may precipitate in the minds of some people that we are anti-religious. This is far from true, but the lack of accountability for the loopholes in previous equality legislation, especially with regard to religious exemptions, means that in our mind any new legislation should not contain new exit clauses, especially with regard to religion. “
Basit Mahmood is co-editor of Left Foot Forward
Since you are here, we have something to ask of you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a catch: we need readers like you to help us survive. We offer progressive and independent media that defy hate rhetoric from the right. Together we can find the stories that get lost.
We are not funded by billionaire donors, but rely on readers who contribute whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do is not free and we operate on a tight budget. Can you help us by contributing as little as £ 1 per week to help us survive? Whatever you can give, we really appreciate it – and we’ll make sure your money goes as far as possible to get impactful news out there.