LGBT Conversion Therapy Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate
Department: HM Treasury
Monday 8th March 2021

(3 years, 1 month ago)

Westminster Hall
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts

Westminster Hall is an alternative Chamber for MPs to hold debates, named after the adjoining Westminster Hall.

Each debate is chaired by an MP from the Panel of Chairs, rather than the Speaker or Deputy Speaker. A Government Minister will give the final speech, and no votes may be called on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Jamie Wallis Portrait Dr Jamie Wallis (Bridgend) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gray.

I begin by congratulating my hon. Friend the Member for Carshalton and Wallington (Elliot Colburn) on leading this very important debate and on making such a compelling and moving opening speech.

Conversion therapy is a damaging, degrading and discriminatory practice that seeks to correct something that does not need fixing—somebody’s sexual orientation, or their gender identity and/or expression. It causes severe physical and psychological suffering; it violates the human rights of the LGBT community; and it is considered by some to be a form of torture, and for good reason.

If we want to eradicate this insidious form of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse, we need a legislative ban to make conversion therapy illegal and we need one as soon as possible. It is vital that this Government lead the way for our LGBT+ community and make history with an effective legislative ban as quickly as possible.

The national LGBT survey found that 7% of people had been offered or undergone conversion therapy. I should echo comments made in support of trans people, because trans respondents to that survey suggested that they are almost twice as likely to have undergone or been offered such therapies.

It is important to echo the comment that this abhorrent practice is taking place across Britain right now. As it is, the law does not protect my constituents from conversion therapy, despite how harmful and damaging it is.

In the short time I have, I will finish by saying that the Ban Conversion Therapy coalition’s ask for support for victims and survivors—whether through charities, faith groups or mental health practitioners—to help them overcome the trauma that they have endured and rebuild their lives is very important. I ask that it be included in any future services that are offered.

My hon. Friend the Member for Carshalton and Wallington made some very good points about what an effective ban should include, and I echo his statements on that. A ban should prevent people from being threatened or sent abroad, it should protect people regardless of age, and it should support victims and survivors regardless of whether they were coerced into or consented to the practice. It must ban the advertising and promotion of said practices, both offline and online. These are the right things to do, and the sooner the Government take action, the sooner the UK can join the growing number of global leaders in LGBT rights who have taken such steps.

James Gray Portrait James Gray (in the Chair)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Very briefly, please, Alyn Smith.