Gay conversion '˜abhorrent' and will be banned

Controversial gay conversion therapies are to be banned under a new lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) action plan outlined by the government.

Tuesday, 3rd July 2018, 1:01 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:01 pm
Belfast's gay pride carnival parade, 05-08-2017

The £4.5 million initiative aimed at making society more inclusive for the LGBT community brands so-called “gay cure” conversion therapies “abhorrent”.

The initiative follows a major government survey which more than 108,000 LGBT people responded to.

The survey found that 2% of respondents had undergone conversion therapy and a further 5% had been offered it.

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The action plan states: “We will consider all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy.”

The survey showed that LGBT people are experiencing prejudice on a daily basis, the government said.

More than two in three of those who took part in the survey said they avoided holding hands with a same-sex partner in public for fear of a negative reaction, while 23% said work colleagues had reacted negatively to them being LGBT.

LGBT hate incidents had been experienced by 40% of people in the survey.

Over half of those who accessed or tried to access mental health services said they had to wait too long.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “We can be proud that the UK is a world leader in advancing LGBT rights, but the overwhelming response to our survey has shone a light on the many areas where we can improve the lives of LGBT people.

“I was struck by just how many respondents said they cannot be open about their sexual orientation or avoid holding hands with their partner in public for fear of a negative reaction.

“No one should ever have to hide who they are or who they love.

“This LGBT action plan will set out concrete steps to deliver real and lasting change across society, from health and education to tackling discrimination and addressing the burning injustices that LGBT people face.”