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U.K. Will Introduce Ban on Conversion Therapy

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The U.K. government plans to move forward with legislation to outlaw so-called conversion therapy, which is designed to turn LGBTQ+ people straight or cisgender.Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said Tuesday that a draft of the bill will be published soon and will be reviewed by a committee before Parliament takes it up.

The measure would apply to England and Wales and will outlaw the therapy not just for young people but for adults “who do not consent and who are coerced or forced to undergo” the treatment, the BBC reports.“This is a complex area, and pre-legislative scrutiny exists to help ensure that any Bill introduced to parliament does not cause unintended consequences,” Donelan said in a written statement. “It will also ensure that the Bill benefits from stakeholder expertise and input from parliamentarians.”She also noted, “We recognise the strength of feeling on the issue of harmful conversion practices and remain committed to protecting people from these practices and making sure they can live their lives free from the threat of harm or abuse.”But, she added, “The legislation must not, through a lack of clarity, harm the growing number of children and young adults experiencing gender related distress, through inadvertently criminalising or chilling legitimate conversations parents or clinicians may have with their children.”The government talked of introducing the legislation in 2021, then last year announced it was dropping the plan.

It quickly reversed but said the ban would not cover conversion therapy directed at transgender people, citing the “unintended consequences” of discouraging conversations about the matter, the BBC reports.

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