Boris Johnson stands by decision to exclude Trans people from conversion therapy ban

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has spoken out in defence of his decision to exclude Trans people from the new conversion therapy ban.

Profile headshot of Borris Johnson delivering a speech at a press conference.
Image: U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of the controversy following the announcement of the UK’s new conversion therapy legislation and its lack of protection for Trans people, Boris Johnson has definitively stated that he stands by the decision.

Speaking to a journalist during a visit to a hospital in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, yesterday, the Prime Minister stated, “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 are things that I think still need to be worked out.”

His statement comes in response to the cancellation of the government’s ‘Safe to Be Me’ conference which was announced earlier this week. ​​The landmark event, which was scheduled to take place in London from June 27-29, was pulled after more than 80 LGBTQ+ and HIV groups decided to boycott it in solidarity with the Trans community.

The boycott was called for after it was revealed last week, that the Prime Minister planned to drop the proposed ban on conversion therapy altogether, but following a major backlash, he u-turned on the decision. The practice will now be banned throughout the UK, with the exception of conversion therapy relating to gender identity.

During yesterday’s interview, Johnson said that he was saddened that the conference had been cancelled but that he stood by the decision not to include Trans conversion therapy in the new legislation. “These are complex issues. And I don’t think they can be solved with one swift, easy piece of legislation … It takes a lot of thought to get this right.”

He continued, “I suppose I’d just make a few points: I don’t think that it’s reasonable for kids to be deemed so-called Gillick competent to take decisions about their gender or irreversible treatments that they may have. I think there should be parental involvement at the very least. That’s the first thing.”

In a further blow to the Trans community he voiced his opinion on the debate surrounding Trans athletes stating, “Second thing, I don’t think that biological males should be competing in female sporting events. And maybe that’s a controversial thing, but it just seems to me to be sensible.”

He continued, “I also happen to think that women should have spaces, whether it’s in hospitals or prisons or changing rooms or wherever, which are dedicated to women”.

Defending his statements Boris Johnson asserted, “That doesn’t mean that I’m not immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition, and it’s vital that we give people the maximum possible love and support in making those decisions.”

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.