The Coalition against Conversion Therapy today (Wednesday 4 July 2018) have launched the new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to end any attempts to offer ‘cures’ to trans people. The launch was hosted by Ben Bradshaw MP in Speaker’s House, in partnership with the Coalition against Conversion Therapy.
The Coalition against Conversion Therapy is a group made up of expert clinical counselling and psychotherapy bodies, including the British Psychological Society, the UK Council for Psychotherapy and Relate.
The event took place on the day new NfP Synergy research for Stonewall reveals more than two thirds of people (68 per cent) are concerned about rogue groups or therapists offering so-called therapies that claim they can ‘cure’ LGBT people.
Today’s event follows the unveiling of the Government’s LGBT action plan, which included a commitment to end conversion therapy. This comes in response to results from the Government’s national LGBT survey that found 2% of LGBT people have undergone conversion therapy, and a further 5% have been offered it. Yesterday, the Government also announced the launch of a public consultation to reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to help further trans equality in Britain.
The memorandum makes clear that conversion therapy in relation to both gender identity and sexual orientation is unethical, potentially harmful and is not supported by evidence.
This is a significant update to the Memorandum of Understanding which was created in 2015 to condemn the use of so-called ‘gay cures’.
Despite widespread condemnation, some still claim LGBT people can be ‘cured’.
The primary purpose of the memorandum is the protection of the public through a commitment to ending the practice of ‘LGBT cure therapy’ in the UK.
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall said: ‘In the same way the idea that someone could, or should, ‘cure’ me of being a lesbian is deeply offensive, it is powerful to see this official recognition that trans identities are not something that can be ‘cured’ or changed. It’s important to make clear that any attempt to change a person’s gender identity through therapy is unethical. Trans people seeking support need to be accepted for who they are, not subjected to prejudice and harmful practice.
‘At the moment we’re seeing more discussions than ever about trans people in the media. It’s time to stop listening to scaremongers, recognise that trans identities are valid and listen to their experience of what it’s like to live in Britain.
‘We’re pleased the Government recognised in their action plan that more needs to be done to tackle the deeply harmful practice of conversion therapy. All forms of ‘therapy’ that attempt to change a person’s gender identity and/or sexual orientation are unacceptable. Lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are not ill.’
The MoU also intends to ensure that:
- The public are well informed about the risks of conversion therapy.
- Healthcare professionals and psychological therapists are aware of the ethical issues relating to conversion therapy.
- New and existing psychological therapists are appropriately trained.
- Evidence into conversion therapy is kept under regular review.
- Professionals from across the health, care and psychological professions work together to achieve the above goals.