Angry gay and trans groups snub Government’s LGBTQ conference over conversion therapy row
- Government’s LGBT conference faces boycott over transgender conversion row
- A ban on the practice of attempting to turn gay people straight will go ahead
- Meanwhile, the legislation will not outlaw attempts at changing gender identity
- It is feared such a move could criminalise parents questioning trans children
Dozens of gay and trans rights groups have pulled out of an LGBT conference hosted by the Government.
It follows anger at the exclusion of transgender people from plans to ban conversion therapy.
Last week the Government announced that it would go ahead with banning the cruel practice of attempting to turn gay people straight just hours after saying the move had been dropped. But ministers said the proposal would not ban attempts to change someone’s gender identity.
Sources said this was due to concerns that parents and teachers could find themselves in court for questioning a child’s desire to change gender.
More than 80 groups have now withdrawn their support from the international conference, saying they will only participate if Boris Johnson reverts to his promise to include trans people in the ban.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has written to the Prime Minister urging him to include trans people in the ban on conversion therapies
Terrence Higgins Trust issued a statement on behalf of 23 HIV groups, saying they will not support or attend the Safe To Be Me conference, scheduled for June and July.
It came as religious leaders, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to include trans people in the ban.
LGBTQ+ rights charity Stonewall said the community’s trust in the Government was ‘shattered’ and it was ‘appalling’ that the PM would ‘so casually walk away from four years of promises to the LGBTQ+ community’.
The charity said: ‘It is apparent that trans people have once again been sacrificed for political gain.
‘Commissioning a separate body of work to unpick something that has already been resolved many times the world over can only be read as an attempt to kick the issue of protecting trans people into the long grass.
‘This is callous and unacceptable.’
Boris Johnson’s government announced last week it would go ahead with banning the cruel practice of attempting to turn gay people straight just hours after saying the move had been dropped
The statement was shared by the LGBT+ Consortium, which has more than 500 members, and over 80 groups added their names to it.
A No10 spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister is committed to bringing forward legislation to ban conversion therapy. Recognising the complexity of issues and need for further careful thought, we will carry out separate work to consider the issue of transgender conversion therapy further.
‘This is a legally complex area and we have a responsibility to ensure unintended consequences are not written into legislation, particularly in the case of under-18s.’ Last night a Government source said the conference was likely to be cancelled.