Thank you for contacting me about the Conversion Therapy Bill.
I am aware that this is a difficult and sensitive issue for many people. I welcome that the Government is due to introduce the Conversion Therapy Bill which will strengthen existing criminal law by ensuring that violent conversion therapy is recognised as a potential aggravating factor upon sentencing, as well as making sure those found guilty of conversion therapy offences have any profit obtained from those crimes removed. Further, it will protect freedom of speech, ensuring parents, clinicians and teachers can continue to have conversations with people seeking support.
I understand that the Government has now confirmed that transgender conversion therapy will be included in the ban. The Bill will be published shortly, and will protect everyone including those targeted on the basis of their sexuality, or being transgender. I am aware that this is a complex area and legislation must not harm the growing number of children and young adults experiencing gender-related distress, through inadvertently criminalising or chilling legitimate conversations parents or clinicians may have with their children.
I am positive about the steps that have been made so far in the UK to achieve LGBT equality, and this is an issue I will continue to monitor closely.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.