British Government to ban conversion therapy?

The British government is not going to ban conversion therapy. Instead they are going to start a consultation. They could look round the world at legal bans, or look at what expert bodies have published, but instead they are going to ask religious bodies their thoughts about religious freedom, that is, freedom to preach that LGBT is Abomination unto the Lord, and the usual nutcase transphobes about how trans medical treatment is “conversion therapy” against lesbian and gay people.

They are also writing, still, about “conversion therapy”. It is not therapy! Sometimes it is pseudo-therapy, aping some aspects of therapy- there might be a psychologist, talking to a person about their thoughts and feelings- but it is the opposite of therapy, as it seeks to prevent the person expressing their true self, and seeks to force them into a conventional understanding of what it is to be a man or woman. And sometimes, it avoids the appearance of therapy, as when a priest laid hands on me and prayed to God that I stop cross-dressing. That is an abuse of power, and should be criminal. The pretence that an attack on someone’s core being is “therapy” or “the Love of God” is one of its most damaging aspects.

It is anti-SOGI conversion practices. SOGI, sexual orientation and gender identity, should be clear enough for anyone to understand or look up. Call it what it is.

Liz Truss started with a lie: “As a global leader on LGBT rights”. Most advances on LGBT rights have come about under a Labour government, and equal marriage would have been defeated by Tory rebels without Labour support. Ten years later, the British government is definitely falling behind. So, no, it has not “always been committed to stamping out” anti-SOGI conversion practices, or it would have done so by now.

She writes of “the coercive… practice of conversion therapy”. I had two experiences, of having a psychiatrist and psychologist attempt to stop me cross dressing, and having a priest lay hands on me to cure me. I sought them out. In that moment, they were voluntary, not coercive. The coercion had happened many years before. My apparent free choice of conversion therapy was from programming. My recovery is proceeding many years after.

How will they “protect the medical profession”? The medical profession have ethics rules against conversion practices.

I am bothered about “upholding religious freedom”. Children are taken to worship, or to coaching by religious bodies, and when there are children present such religious bodies should not be inveighing against gay people or trans people, because they may damage gay or trans children present. Ideally, they should not be preaching a heteronormative family structure of Mummies and Daddies. The Rev Tina Beardsley explains some debate on conversion practices in the Church of England.

Even adults who have bought into religious structures, and find community there, or fear ostracism if they come out, are intensely vulnerable before homophobic or transphobic preaching. I do not want it argued that a gay man can decide to be celibate for religious reasons and is entitled to support in that from his church.

The religious bodies have the power, and LGBT+ folk are hurt. Where people realise they have been damaged by that religious power, they should be able to claim compensation for that damage.

When will this happen? After a consultation. The trans consultation was announced in 2017, launched a year later, and only this month the Government acted- to reduce the costs of getting a GRC, slightly, but keep the greatest cost, that of getting medical evidence. Then, “as soon as parliamentary time allows”. Don’t hold your breath.

Meanwhile Liz Truss and her rabble preach hate against trans people.

8 thoughts on “British Government to ban conversion therapy?

  1. I am sorry to hear this, Clare, but then I am sorry that Britain should have such a disreputable mafia masquerading as a government. I hope this evil can be defeated. I live abroad and most of the rest of the developed world is – albeit very slowly – moving towards acceptance of LGBT rights. Sue x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Their schtick of making populist noises on public spending (it’s not clear what they will actually do, after the pandemic) and extreme social conservative policies- Defend the Statues!- seems to have entrenched them.

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  2. I think conversiontherapy is always tricky business when it is reversed. I mean when someone else tries to impose something on another person. Thinking one knows something that the other person does not know or have understood about themselves or the world. And that our own wisdom is better than anyone elses. God help us from that! It always ends up as power abuse.
    Conversion must come from within.
    It is difficult.
    And it is what politics is all about. One parti fighting another. Claiming they are right.
    Every single person I would say lives in their own or their groups rational irrationality due to experience, history or simply genderidentification and hormones. To me that has been key. To understand that my perception of the world is not the same as everyone elses. To try to step away always and see it from outside. We are all ok. As long as we permit ourselves to be true to our hearts, and dont become violent or abusive towards another in any way. The problem comes when someone think they should teach you something. It often ends up as power abuse and quite far from wisdom. I fear every kind of expertise that is not genuinly interested in understanding and exploring the other persons universe. But just wants to impose their own eminent one on someone else.
    The only time I find it meaningful is when someone is truly expressing violent behaviour or ideas towards another being. That is the time to roar.
    And that is why sects and dogmatic religions or politic groups are somehow inhumane.
    Love Your voice. I am no LBTQ person, but it seems ever since I was young I often come along with LBTQ people. I think in particular just for this reason. My own right to be me. In a world that simply just wants to beat myself out of me all the time. Just so I can fit into someone elses box. It does not work.
    You be you. Me be me, and let us love and respect one another. Love to you. You have a strong voice. I need to train mine. It is strong within, unexperienced outside since I lived quite a solitary contemplative life.
    People attacking vulnerable people or minorities are really not that great or interesting human beings. Are they?

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  3. The NZ government has promised to introduce legislation this year to ban conversion “therapy”. Such “therapy” is no more than conditioning. Unfortunately it will not prohibit one form of conditioning as it’s still viewed as medically sound, and that is ABA, which is claimed to be a treatment for autism. It’s actually no different to any other form of conversion therapy: it conditions people to behave in ways that are not natural for them. It is cruel and does not “treat” autism. It conditions people (mostly children) so that they appear to be non-autistic. Somewhere around 80% of autistic children who undergo ABA are diagnosed as suffering from PTSD when they reach adulthood. I suspect that those who are subjected to other forms of conversion “therapy” might also have similar rates of PTSD, especially if it’s up to 40 hours per week that many autistic kids are subjected to

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