Dear Thangam Debbonaire MP,
I am writing to ask for your support in the campaign to ban conversion therapy â€“ an alarmingly widespread practice that seeks to erase, repress, cure or change an individualâ€™s sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Conversion therapy is taking place in medical, psychiatric, psychological, religious, and cultural communities.
Figures from the National LGBT Survey found that 7 per cent of LGBT+ people have been offered or undergone conversion therapy, with trans respondents almost twice as likely to have undergone or been offered conversion therapy (13 per cent). Figures also found asexual people to be at a higher risk of being offered or undergoing conversion therapy (10 per cent).
Half of respondents (51 per cent) who had undergone conversion therapy said it had been conducted by faith groups, and one in five (19 per cent) said it had been conducted by healthcare providers or medical professionals.
Right now, the law does not protect your constituents from this harmful practice. And there is no dedicated funding for victim and survivor support, whether through support charities, faith groups or mental health practitioners, to help overcome trauma and rebuild their lives.
Please write to Liz Truss, Minister for Women and Equalities, and Kemi Badenoch, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities), and urge them to implement a full legislative ban as detailed below. You could also share your support by recording and sharing a #BanConversionTherapy video on social media, as hundreds of religious leaders have in a powerful show of support.
If we want to eradicate this insidious form of homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and acephobic abuse, we need a legislative ban to make conversion therapy illegal:
- Wherever it occurs â€“ Both in public and private spheres; in healthcare, religious, cultural and traditional settings or contexts; and for those who are threatened with being sent overseas to undergo so-called â€œconversion therapyâ€.
- Whoever is targeted â€“ Both children or adults; both those who have been coerced as well as those who have consented; any intervention that has the intention of changing, suppressing, converting or cancelling sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.
- From the moment itâ€™s spotted â€“ Banning the advertisement and promotion of these therapies both online and in public spaces.
Statutory provision of publicly funded specialist support services for current victims and survivors of historical cases is also essential.
I hope I can rely on your support to ban conversion therapy, so that we can continue to progress towards a world where all LGBTQIA+ people can live without shame or fear. I welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue with you further and look forward to hearing from you soon.