Liz Truss urged to ‘deliver on her word’ and ban conversion therapy for good

Liz Truss standing outside No 10 Downing Street

LGBTQ+ charities have called on Liz Truss to “deliver on her word” and ban “abhorrent” conversion therapy practices for all. 

Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition – made up of 79 leading LGBTQ+ and human rights charities, including Stonewall – released a video highlighting promises to ban conversion practices made by Truss when she was minister for women and equalities. 

The video has been released to coincide with the Conservative Party Conference, which is taking place 2-5 October in Birmingham, and recaps times when Liz Truss committed to banning what she called a “vile, abhorrent practice”.

Chief executive of Stonewall, Nancy Kelley, shared: “Over the last four years successive governments have dragged their heels on their promise to ban abusive conversion practices that destroy LGBTQ+ people’s lives.

“As prime minister, Liz Truss can now finally deliver on her own commitment to protect lesbian, gay, bi and trans people from this harm.”

A ban on conversion therapy was first promised under Theresa May’s leadership in 2018. Following May’s departure from No 10, Boris Johnson’s government published a consultation on a ban in October 2021.

But in March this year, Johnson announced he was dropping plans to ban the practice. He was forced to U-turn within hours after mounting backlash from  LGBTQ+ campaigners, MPs and organisations. Following the outrage Downing Street promised to bring forward legislation banning conversion therapy – but only for cisgender lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Truss has not yet confirmed if or how she will proceed with the ban since taking office, but the coalition told PinkNews it is urging her to “deliver, deliver deliver” on her commitment to outlaw the practices.

Kelley explained countries around the world are starting to adopt laws to safeguard LGBTQ+ people from attempts to change or “cure” who they are, and that the UK is falling behind.


Liz Truss must ‘act now’ on conversion therapy

Jayne Ozanne, chair of the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition and director of the Ozanne Foundation, said: “Conversion practices are indeed abhorrent and should have been banned years ago.

Ozanne, who was formerly a government equality advisor, quit her post in March last year over concern of a “hostile environment” for LGBTQ+ people among the administration.

She added: “We have constantly been assured that the government is working ‘at pace’ to ensure a full ban with no loopholes. It is time now for the prime minister to finally deliver on her long-held promises.”

Lena Morris, CEO of LGBT+ anti-abuse charity, Galop, told PinkNews that her charity has been supporting victims and survivors of conversion therapy for years. 

Morris claims she has seen “significant and often lifelong effects” on victims, and she urged for a ban to protect the queer community from those “who try to change who we are”. 

She added: “LGBT+ people in the UK deserve to be protected. Every day that passes without this legislation means more people coming through our doors, having experienced abuse that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

“We were promised a ban that protects the whole of our community. We urge the new government to act on this now, to stop more harm.” 

Conversion therapy includes medical, psychiatric, psychological, religious, cultural or any other interventions that seek to change, “cure” or suppress someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Former prime minister Theresa May told PinkNews in July that Britain is at risk of “sliding back” if the government does not ban trans conversion therapy.