UK to make coercive conversion therapy criminal offence

Britain is considering making so-called talking conversion therapies that seek to change someone’s sexual orientation without their consent a new criminal offence, the government said today.

(FMT) – The proposed crime would be punishable by up to five years in prison, the government equalities office (GEO) said.

It would apply to those conducting the practice on under 18s in any circumstance and on adults who have not freely consented, said the GEO, adding that consent requirements would be “robust and stringent”.

The government’s six-week public consultation will close on Dec 10, and it aims to introduce the legislation early next year.

The law would cover attempts to convert people from being attracted to members of their own sex, or from not being transgender to being transgender and vice versa.

Religious teachings will not constitute conversion therapy, said the government.

“There should be no place for the abhorrent practice of coercive conversion therapy in our society,” said women and equalities minister Liz Truss.

“Today, we are publishing detailed proposals that will stop appalling conversion therapies and make sure LGBT people can live their lives free from the threat of harm or abuse.

“I want everyone to be able to love who they want and be themselves.

“Today’s announcement sets out how we will ban an archaic practice that has no place in modern life,” she added.

Those found guilty would also have any profits gained from the practice confiscated.