Mainstream media today reports that the Westminster Government is “stuck in a loop” over banning so-called ‘conversion therapy’. We call on the Government to abandon the proposals, and state publicly that such a ban is both unnecessary and unworkable.
It is unnecessary because the current law clearly and adequately protects every person against abusive practices, including those who identify as LGBT. Any examples of genuine abuse cited by campaigners would be straightforward to prosecute under existing legislation. Moreover, there is no evidence of any such practices taking place in Britain today. It is no surprise that only 4% of voters believe that this should be a government priority.
And it is unworkable because, as the Government has no doubt discovered, a bill cannot be drafted which both satisfies the demands of campaigners and complies with human rights laws. What campaigners want (as illustrated by the legislation now in force in Victoria, Australia) is a law which forbids both belief in reality (i.e. the existence of sex as an immutable part of being human) and belief in core Christian doctrine (i.e. that humans are sinful and should repent of, rather than blindly follow, their apparently natural desires). This clearly cannot be done in a liberal democracy, especially one which is founded on a Christian constitution as is the case in the UK.
The Government has therefore found itself caught between a pledge made a number of years ago and the hard reality that it cannot be fulfilled. We urge the Prime Minister and his Government to admit this, to state their confidence in the law as it stands, and to state once and for all that no further legislation is necessary.