Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt urged to ban gay conversion therapy

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Labour MP Geraint Davies has written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt urging for him to consider a complete ban on gay conversion therapy from being provided by psychotherapists.

The number of MPs who have signed an Early Day Motion against gay conversion therapy has now reached 32.

The Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Equalities, Labour MP Sandra Osborne, tabled the motion along with Conservative MP Crispin Blunt and Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Gilbert earlier this month.

It calls on the NHS to ensure that medical professionals cannot inflict the “cruel treatment on their patients”.

A 2010 report by Professor Michael King of University College London found that one in six UK psychiatrists had sought to reduce or change a patient’s sexual orientation.

Labour MP for Swansea West, Geraint Davies, has written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt urging for him to investigate the matter.

Health Minister Norman Lamb described the practice as “harmful” last September, but stated that the government had “no plans to introduce statutory regulation for psychotherapists”.

Mr Davies said: “There’s obviously no need to offer treatment for something that’s not an illness. Conversion therapy is based on outdated views and dodgy science, and if people are being referred to it by their GPs then it’s a ridiculous waste of NHS time and money.

“I have written to the Health Secretary urging him to investigate this as a matter of urgency and to consider a complete ban on conversion therapy.”

“No one should be offering treatments for homosexuality in 2013, and this should certainly not be done at the taxpayers’ expense.”