UK government: Gay cure therapy is ‘ineffective and potentially harmful’
The UK government has said it is keeping its stance on gay ‘cure’ therapy “under review” – in a week that has seen the issue on the news agenda again.
Earlier this week PinkNews revealed that the Core Issues Trust, an evangelical Christian group which advocates for efforts to change sexual orientation, was planning to screen a documentary about people who claim to have been cured of homosexuality.
The film’s creators claim it features 15 people who have “come out of homosexual practises” thanks to therapy or religion – and challenges the “myth… that people are born gay”.
Conversion therapy is already illegal in several countries, two Canadian provinces and nine US states – but the UK government has previously rejected calls to take a harder line on the issue.
The NHS has signed up to a Memorandum of Understanding that bans it from referring anyone to conversion therapy services, but unregulated gay ‘cure’ therapists remain free to operate in the UK.
In a statement this week, the UK government said the issue remained “under review”.
Labour MP Sharon Hodgson had asked the Department of Health to confirm “whether the Department has made an estimate of the number people who have undertaken gay conversion therapy.”
Responding, health minister Jackie Doyle-Price said the government does not hold any statistics on the issue.
She said: “The Department does not hold an estimate of the number of people that have undertaken gay conversion therapy.
“In 2017, the Government Equalities Office carried out a survey of the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United Kingdom, which included several questions about gay conversion therapy.
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