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UK: Parliament to tackle ex-gay therapy

Labour MP proposed bill to ban the practice in October

UK Parliament is set to debate ex-gay therapy. Credit: law.ox.ac.uk

Following Labour MP Geraint Davies' proposal to ban ex-gay therapy, the UK Parliament is set to debate the practice Nov 20, Pink News reports.

In making the proposal last month, Davies called conversion therapy a "discredited, so-called treatment," Pink News says. Davies, who reportedly has support for his bill from MPs among the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru (described as a Centre-left party in Wales) and his own Labour Party, suggested that making regulation compulsory is the way to end the practice.

More than 50 MPs signed a motion in June against gay conversion therapy. The motion states in part, “This House believes that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not a disease or illness and that therapy which attempts to cure or change a person’s sexual orientation is both ineffective and potentially extremely harmful.”

It also calls on the government to "investigate any NHS [National Health Service] links with conversion therapists, ensuring that NHS medical professionals cannot inflict this cruel treatment on their patients and to take steps to ban conversion therapy for under-18s.”

In July, trade union organizations and more than 40 LGBT groups also called on the government to put an end to the therapy.

According to Pink News, professions like psychotherapists and counsellors are not regulated, and ex-gay therapists can pursue their practice in the UK without having to belong to a professional organization.