Social Justice

Petition signed by 145,000 people forces MPs to debate including trans conversion therapy in ban

The government has also been told to give evidence for its decision to exclude trans conversion therapy from its proposed ban.

Trans conversion therapy

Protesters at a trans rights march in Manchester. Image: Oriel Frankie Ashcroft / pexels

MPs will debate whether to include trans conversion therapy in the government’s upcoming ban.

The debate will take place at 4.30pm on June 20, after almost 145,000 people signed a petition calling for the government to backtrack on its decision not to include trans conversion therapy in its ban.

The government has also been told to provide evidence for its decision, as well as to reveal whether it will publish its response to the consultation on the ban.

The petition’s creator, Sammantha Harris, told The Big Issue in April: “For the government to turn around and say that trans people shouldn’t be protected from it, was as if they were clearly saying that our lives are less worthy of that protection.”

In March, documents leaked to ITV showed the government was planning to ditch its proposed ban on conversion therapy.

A backlash from MPs led it to U-turn on that plan, and the ban was reinstated, but this time it excluded trans conversion therapy.

In response to the petition, the government said: “We will introduce a ban protecting everyone from attempts to change their sexual orientation.

“Recognising the complexity of issues we will consider the issue of transgender conversion therapy further.”

Any petition receiving over 100,000 signatures on the UK government and parliament site is considered for a debate – but does not automatically receive one.

Hundreds protested outside Downing Street in response to the government’s U-turns, chanting “keep trans in the ban”.

The government faced revolt from its own MPs over its decision to not ban gay conversion therapy.

Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland, said on Twitter: “As well as breaking an explicit promise, this is a matter of basic decency.

“Being gay is not something that needs curing.”

The government must give its response – including when it intends to publish its response to the consultation on the ban – by June 9.

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