Boris Johnson won’t include trans in conversion therapy ban

Boris Johnson conversion therapy ban
Image: Boris Johnson Facebook

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has again said his government will exclude trans people from a proposed conversion therapy ban. He also described disallowing trans women from competing in women’s sport as a ‘sensible’ option.

“We will have a ban on gay conversion therapy, which to me is utterly abhorrent.

“But there are complexities and sensitivities when you move from the area of sexuality to the question of gender. There, I’m afraid, there are things that I think still need to be worked out.”

The Conservatives first promised a conversion therapy ban under former prime minister Theresa May. That proposal included trans people.

However, Boris Johnson’s government cancelled the promised ban. But following a backlash, Johnson himself resurrected the proposal though apparently without consultation with his Equalities Minister. However, the revised ban makes no provision for trans people.

In response, over 120 LGBT+ and HIV groups withdrew support for the government’s LGBT+ rights conference Safe To Be Me. The government consequently cancelled the event.

Britain’s LGBT+ business champion, Iain Anderson, also resigned over the issue, accusing the government of fighting a ‘woke war’.


Johnson also declared that trans women should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports. Additionally, he stated there should be spaces in hospitals, prisons and changing rooms ‘dedicated to women’.

“That’s as far as my thinking has developed on this issue. If that puts me in conflict with some others, then we have got to work it all out.”

He claimed, however, to be “immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition.”

He also described it as ‘vital’ that ‘we give people the maximum possible love and support’  when making decisions.

Love and support are, of course, lovely. But little help to people undergoing the torture of harmful conversion therapy.

In February, New Zealand legislated to ban attempts to change a person’s gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.

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