Trans people and 'consenting adults' not protected by UK conversion therapy ban

The exclusions were confirmed by guidance notes for an address by Prince Charles in which he declared the ban will come into effect.

Prince Charle sits in a gold throne addressing the UK on issues including the conversion therapy ban.
Image: Twitter via @LateBrakers

Yesterday, May 10, Prince Charles addressed the UK on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, promising to deliver on the long-proposed conversion therapy ban which, it is now confirmed, will not cover Trans people.

Legislation will be introduced to ban conversion therapy,” he promised from the House of Lords chamber at the State Opening of Parliament, sitting upon a gold throne surrounded by finery.

The ban not only omits gender identity conversion therapy, but will also fail to protect ‘consenting adults’ from the outdated practice deemed dangerous and akin to torture by many, including UN expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz.

“Practices of conversion therapy are not only ineffective, but they can also be extremely harmful. They often lead to pain and suffering that will last far beyond their occurrence, leaving indelible scars on a person’s body and mind,” he said.  “The combined effects of feeling powerless and extreme humiliation generate profound feelings of shame, guilt, self-disgust and worthlessness, which can result in a damaged self-concept and enduring personality changes.”

With regards to “consent”, the ban will only “protect under-18s, regardless of circumstance, and over-18s who do not consent and who are coerced or forced to undergo conversion therapy practice”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously declared the inclusion of the Trans community in the Conversion Therapy (Prohibition) Bill too “complex” to legislate, according to PinkNews, with a former LGBTQ+ government advisor calling this decision “immoral”.

“By creating a loophole of consent, the government continues to ignore the advice of legal experts and survivors like myself, who know that this will continue to put many lives at risk,” said Jayne Ozanne. “It is utterly immoral they have omitted trans people from a ban and created so many loopholes, that risk making this is a ban in name only.”

The UK government itself conducted research which indicates that Trans people are almost twice as likely as cisgender people to go through or be offered conversion therapy, and yet these are the very people the prohibitive bill neglects to protect.

“A ban on conversion practices that doesn’t cover both sexual orientation and gender identity protects nobody,” said a Stonewall spokesperson. “Those who want to erase or suppress LGBTQ+ people from living their lives do not differentiate between the two.”

Globally, all recent bans have covered both because the international community recognize that the motivations behind the practice stem from one thing: a hatred of LGBTQ+ people,” they continued. “The UK Government must stop playing politics with our lives and introduce a ban that protects all LGBTQ+ people.”

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