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The UK must ban ‘conversion therapy’ – even for adults who claim to want it

By Jayne Ozanne

02 Nov 2021 · 4 min read

Last week the government finally published its proposals on how it intends to ban the degrading practice of so-called “conversion therapy”. It has taken years of lobbying, several high-profile resignations, as well as various statements from senior religious leaders and indeed whole denominations – such as the Church of England and the Methodist church – to get us to this point. Was it worth the wait?

In truth there is much in the proposals that can and should be welcomed. The government has shown willing to listen to the senior human rights lawyers behind the Cooper report, which I convened, and has accepted our proposal of a two-pronged approach involving both criminal and civil remedies. This means that as well as clear criminal sanctions against perpetrators, who now face sentence of up to five years and a hefty fine, it will also introduce new protection orders that will work to safeguard young vulnerable LGBT+ people from harm.

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