Story at a glance

  • In a speech to the British Parliament, Queen Elizabeth II voiced the government's intention to ban conversion therapy.
  • While some forms of conversion therapy are banned in the United Kingdom, the new initiative would prohibit the practice altogether.
  • The UK also announced the first government fund for victims of conversion therapy, which can be a form of physical and mental abuse.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The headline and summary of this story have been updated to clarify that while Queen Elizabeth II delivered the speech, it was written by the government and approved by the Cabinet.

It was just one line in Queen Elizabeth II’s full speech before both Houses of Parliament, but it brought hope to many Brits in the LGBTQ+ community and victims of conversion therapy.  

"Measures will be brought forward to address racial and ethnic disparities and ban conversion therapy," she said during an annual speech to both Houses of Parliament on May 11 setting out the government's policies and the proposed legislation for the new Parliamentary session. 

The United Kingdom would join Canada, Malta, Germany, Mexico and parts of Australia in banning what the British government called "abhorrent practices" that the medical community warns are "unethical and potentially harmful" to the mental and physical health of patients, especially LGBTQ+ people. Both former Prime Minister Theresa May and current Prime Minister Boris Johnson have promised to end the practice, reported the British Broadcasting Company, but the government has been slow to take action. 


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Minister for Women & Equalities Liz Truss said in a statement that the ban would be introduced in Parliament "as soon as parliamentary time allows, and following a consultation" of the public and "key stakeholders."

“As a global leader on LGBT rights, this government has always been committed to stamping out the practice of conversion therapy. We want to make sure that people in this country are protected, and these proposals mean nobody will be subjected to coercive and abhorrent conversion therapy,” Truss said in the statement, adding that the government would also making funding available for victims. 


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Published on May 11, 2021