Response to PM’s Statement – Jul 20th 2020

Bishop Paul Bayes, Chair with Jayne Ozanne, Director

We welcome Prime Minister Boris John’s commitment today that the government will at long last bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy.   It has been three years since the Church of England called on the government to ban it, and two years since Prime Minister May said she would bring forward proposals to end it.

Our Foundation’s research has shown that conversion therapy is practiced primarily by religious leaders, and banning it is – as our Inter Religious Advisory Board has explained to the Secretary of State – a critical step towards helping religious organisations to end it.  This ban must be sure to include all forms of conversion therapy – including the full range of religious practices, whether consensual or not – and importantly must cover any attempts to change gender identity. 

We are unclear why more research is needed when so much already exists both here in the UK and internationally.  However, we look forward to working with the government to eradicate this horrific and deeply damaging practice once and for all.

This is a matter that impacts the lives of our most vulnerable, particularly children, and we must therefore act without further delay.

July 20th 2020