UK conversion therapy ban won't protect Trans people

Boris Johnson dropped plans to ban conversion therapy in the UK but immediately backtracked amid mass backlash.

Trans rights rally with a Trans flag waving in a crowd, outdoors. This story details the conversion therapy ban that does not protect Trans people in the UK.
Image: Via Twitter - @_DylanHamilton_

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s exclusion of Trans people in the law that would protect them from conversion therapy has caused upset in the UK’s LGBTQ+ community.

It was revealed yesterday, March 31, that the Prime Minister planned to drop the ban altogether, but following 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.

According to PinkNews, Trans people are almost twice as likely to be victims of conversion therapy than their queer counterparts, and therefore they are the ones who are most in need of protection under this ban.

“Promising to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people while excluding trans people sends an abhorrent message that Trans people are not worthy of the same rights, dignity and safety as their peers,” said Dominic Arnall, chief executive of Just Like Us, a charity for LGBTQ+ youth.

“Excluding trans people from these protections could lead directly to an escalation in this damaging practice aimed at trans young people and will certainly impact the mental health and wellbeing of whole generations.”

This news comes just after Jamie Wallis, a Conservative MP in the UK, came out as Trans following anti-Trans jokes made by Johnson in a speech at a political gathering. Johnson Tweeted out in support of Wallis’ bravery, but that support evidently does not extend to protecting Wallis by law.

Meanwhile in the UK, the government’s LGBTQ+ ‘Safe To Be Me’ conference is losing sponsors as a result of the government’s track record when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights.

Major benefactors, such as BP and OVO Energy, are pulling out three months ahead of the conference, with some responding to criticism from staff. VICE World News reports that one “employee at a major UK bank threatened to quit their job if bosses went ahead with sponsoring the conference with upwards of £100,000”. The bank took heed of the staff member’s concern and withdrew its funding. Vodafone, Virgin Media and NBC Universal are among other sponsors who have reportedly pulled out of the event.

“This conference is a pinkwashing exercise, nothing more,” said one anonymous source involved in the organisation of ‘Safe To Be Me’.

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