UK set to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy

UK set to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy
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The British government will move to ban the controversial practice of LGTBQ "conversion therapy," Queen Elizabeth II announced in her annual speech last night.

The British monarch mentioned the move during her address to Parliament and the nation Tuesday evening, telling assembled lawmakers: "Measures will be brought forward to address racial and ethnic disparities and ban conversion therapy."

It wasn't clear exactly what form the legislation will take, but Britain has already banned some forms of the controversial practice, which seeks to use Christian theology alongside practices many consider abusive. Conversion therapy has been linked to higher rates of suicide attempts among those who have undergone it.

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The queen's speech, which lays out the priorities of the British government for the upcoming parliamentary year, is drafted in concert with the office of Britain's prime minister, Boris Johnson, indicating that his Conservative Party will champion legislation dealing with such issues in the days and weeks ahead.

In a statement Tuesday following the speech, Johnson's minister for women and equalities, Liz Truss, said that the ban would be introduced "as soon as parliamentary time allows."

"The accompanying consultation will seek further views from the public and key stakeholders to ensure that the ban can address the practice while protecting the medical profession; defending freedom of speech; and upholding religious freedom," said Truss.

A number of other countries have also banned the practice in recent years, including Canada and Australia, and the United Nations has called for more countries to ban it. A handful of states have also banned conversion therapy; Virginia became the 20th to do so last year.