Gay Conversion Therapy: Victoria

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 1st June 2021.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the Australian State of Victoria’s Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 as a model for legislation to ban conversion therapy in England and Wales.

Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice), Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, when she plans to publish the findings of her Department's research into conversion practices in the UK that was conducted in 2020.

Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice), Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she will take to consult (a) survivors of conversion therapy and (b) organisations who support those who have been subjected to conversion therapy as part of any consultation on banning conversion practices.

Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice), Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of Australia's Victoria State Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 as a model of best practice for banning conversion therapy.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary, Minister for Equalities

As set out in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, we will bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy. We will also launch a consultation before details of the ban are finalised to hear from a wide range of voices on how best to protect people from conversion therapy while protecting the medical profession, defending freedom of speech, and upholding religious freedom. We are considering all options for the scope of a ban and will be engaging the appropriate stakeholders, including organisations who support survivors of conversion therapy, to gather views. We have also already met with conversion therapy survivors, to hear about their experiences.

We have also undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. Officials are also in discussion with international policy counterparts, to fully understand the detail and impact of other jurisdictions’ measures, in order to inform the UK’s next steps.

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