A proposal in the UK would classify forced conversion therapy - which seeks to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity - as a criminal offense
Conversion therapyseeks to change an individual's sexual orientationor gender identity.
- "There is no justification ... the evidence is clear that it does not work" the proposal reads.
British Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss introduced proposals on Friday that would criminalize conversion therapy, a practice that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, i24 News reported.
If enacted, the proposals would criminalize the conversion therapy of minors and those over the age of 18 who have not consented, as well as increase sentences for violent acts committed during conversion therapy. Any individual who violates the
"As we build back better from the pandemic, I want everyone to be able to love who they want and be themselves. Today's announcement sets out how we will ban an archaic practice that has no place in modern life," Truss said.
Many proponents of conversion therapy liken same-sex attraction or being transgender to a defect, deficiency, or addiction, which they then use conversion therapy to control or remedy, according to the proposal.
Forms of conversion therapy range from talk therapies and prayer to exorcisms and physical violence, former government equality advisor and conversion therapy survivor Jayne Ozanne told the BBC.
"There is no justification for these coercive and abhorrent practices and the evidence is clear that it does not work: it does not change a person from being LGBT and can cause long-lasting damage to those who go through it," the proposal reads.
For the next six weeks, the government will field public input on the ban and explore additional ways to prevent the promotion and advertisement of conversion therapy. Additionally, it seeks feedback on other proposed measures, including support packages for victims and prosecution of
The UK Government Equalities Office will draft legislation in spring 2022 and introduce it before Parliament, according to its government website.
Only five countries - Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, Taiwan, and Malta - have some form of ban on conversion therapy.
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