THE BRITISH Government will bring forward proposals to end the practice of conversion therapy.
Last July the Church of England called on the Government to ban conversion therapy with all three Houses in General Synod backing the call.
In the Government’s latest report on LGBT life in the UK, the ‘therapy’ was referred to as an ‘abhorrent practice’.
The report details that although 5 per cent of respondents (total 108,100) had been offered so called ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapy (but did not take it up) a further 2 per cent had undergone it.
Faith organisations were by far the most likely group to have conducted conversion therapy (51 per cent of those who received it had it conducted by faith groups).
However, Core Issues,said that the Home Office ‘is taking a high-profile position in the therapy debate and in the persecution of viewpoints that reject the normalisation of homosexuality and gender mainstreaming’.
Core Issues, which describes itself as ‘a non-profit Christian ministry supporting men and women with homosexual issues who voluntarily seek change in sexual preference and expression’, warned that viewpoints were being closed down.
“This indicates that the Home Office wishes to signal that providing therapeutic support in this area is hate speech and non-violent extremism.
“Such a position ensures that no UK citizen may express a contrary view, and that to act to provide therapeutic support for unwanted same-sex attractions is being criminalised. To seek such help, a person is in grave danger of becoming pathologised as though to do so is simply because of internalised homophobia.”
The action against conversion therapy is part of a comprehensive LGBT Action Plan to improve the lives of LGBT people. The Government Equalities Office will allocate £4.5 million of funding followingtheir survey.
It found that at least two in five respondents had experienced an incident because they were LGBT, such as verbal harassment or physical violence, in the 12 months preceding the survey. It also found that 24 percent of respondents had accessed mental health services in the same period.
Over two thirds (69 per cent) of respondents were aged between 16 and 34.
The survey also found that a similar number (68%) of all respondents with a minority sexual orientation said they had avoided holding hands in public with a same-sex partner for fear of a negative reaction from others.
Meanwhile a quarter (24 per cent) of all respondents were not open at all about being LGBT with family members that they lived with (excluding partners), while 65 per cent were open with all or most.
Younger people were more likely not to be open with any of the family they lived with (42 per cent of cisgender 16-17-year-olds and 28 per cent of 18-24-year-olds).