Parliament has scheduled a debate on including trans people in its restrictions on ‘conversion therapy’ after a petition on the issue got more than 140,000 signatures.
As of 18 May, it is the third most-signed open petition on the government’s official website. At 10,000 signatures, the government was obligated to issue a response to it, which the Cabinet Office finally did on 13 May.
It previously reached the 100,000 threshold required to be considered for parliamentary debate on 11 April, which on 18 May the Petitions Committee confirmed had been scheduled for 20 June.
In a letter sent to Mike Freer MP, the Minister for Equalities, Catherine McKinnell MP, Chair of the Petitions Committee, and Elliot Colburn MP, Member of the Petitions Committee, asked for “further information on the Government’s position ahead of that debate.” “It was welcome to see the Government recommit to its plans for a legislative ban on conversion therapy practices intended to change a person’s sexual orientation in last week’s Queen’s Speech,” the letter continued. “However, concerns have been expressed that – contrary to the Government’s commitments when it launched its consultation on banning conversion therapy last year – transgender conversion therapy will not now be included in the scope of the Conversion Therapy Bill, but will instead be the subject of ‘separate work’.” There has been widespread outrage in the UK after the government’s U-turns on a comprehensive ‘conversion therapy’ ban, which has now resulted in a watered down version of what was originally promised.