Announcement on Westminster conversion therapy ban expected

16, January 2023

You may have seen press coverage saying the Westminster Govt is soon to make an announcement on conversion therapy.

This is likely a response to an amendment to the Online Safety Bill which may be discussed tomorrow.

We are clear that any new law must not cut across the ordinary work of churches: prayer, preaching, pastoral care and parenting. Yet this is precisely what many activists are calling for –

The horrific practices of the past, like electroshock experiments, no longer take place. To suggest prayer is on the same spectrum is appalling. Yet this is what activists regularly do.

The Government must be clear that it respects the ordinary beliefs of Christians in the UK.

Christian belief is not harmful or abusive and there can be no justification for restricting the right to encourage or uphold traditional values.

Freedom of expression and freedom of belief are guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights – the Government has a duty to protect them.

Increasing numbers of teens are struggling with gender identity confusion. Parents must be free to help their children, without being forced to automatically affirm everything they say.

Feminists talking to gender confused girls could also be caught by a badly-drafted ban.

Independent legal opinions of repressive ‘conversion therapy’ legislation in other jurisdictions, from top KCs, have said the same would be impossible in the UK:

If abuse is taking place legally it is right that the Government steps in. But gaps in existing law have not been shown. If the Government introduces legislation in this area it must show that it is evidence-based and proportionate.

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