Extending the conversion therapy consultation
We are writing to notify you of an extension to the Government’s consultation on conversion therapy, which sets out proposals on how to ban the practice. We want to be clear that extending the consultation does not change our intent: as announced in the Queen’s speech in May, the Government will ban conversion therapy, and that ban will protect everyone. This has been our policy since 2018.
The Government has made the decision to extend the consultation period to the end of Friday 4 February 2022 in order to allow ample opportunity for those who are yet to respond to be able to do so and to take account of Christmas and New Year. We also want to ensure that those individuals who may benefit from an Easy Read version are able to respond. We will continue to welcome responses via the main portal on gov.uk. The two ways to respond are as follows:
- The full length consultation document, supporting documents and the link to the online portal for responses:
- The Easy Read version, which can be completed then returned by email or post:
This legislation is for England and Wales, and we will continue to liaise closely with devolved administrations. We would also like to take this opportunity to address concerns and questions that have been raised during the consultation.
Protecting free speech
The Government’s proposals will protect freedom of speech. Parents, clinicians and teachers will of course continue to be able to have conversations with young people or others about their sexual orientation or whether they are transgender or not.
Our current focus is on securing feedback on our policy proposals. Legislative drafting will then follow, informed by analysis of consultation responses.
Protecting clinical independence
Our proposals will not interfere with clinicians’ existing professional obligations and regulatory frameworks. Legitimate talking therapies and clinical conversations are distinct from talking conversion therapy, which pressures or coerces someone into a particular position. This is a view that the Government has found to be common amongst clinical professionals coming from a range of perspectives on this policy.
The Gender Recognition Act 2004 allows for change of legal sex and we will not be amending this. The legislation we will put forward after this consultation will address conversion therapy only and will not in any way change the process by which people are able to change their legal sex.
Protecting all LGBT people
We know that all LGBT people subject to conversion therapy can experience serious negative impacts. We want everybody to be free to be themselves and remain committed to banning conversion therapy where it impacts any LGBT person.
The Government has a manifesto commitment to better combat harassment and violence against LGBT people and we remain committed to preparing legislation to ban conversion therapy for Spring 2022 and introducing this as soon as Parliamentary time allows.