Plans to ban 'gay conversion therapy'

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Cumbria dairy farmer tells of struggle to come out

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Cumbria dairy farmer tells of struggle to come out

The LGBT Action Plan will be published alongside the results of the largest national survey of LGBT people ever undertaken.

Some 40 per cent of respondents had experienced incidents such as verbal harassment or physical violence in the 12 months preceding the survey, but more than 90 per cent of them went unreported, with respondents explaining "it happens all the time".

Over 108,000 people responded, making it the biggest study of its kind in the world. It found two percent of respondents underwent gay conversion therapy, while five percent were offered it, despite the NHS in 2014 warning it is "unethical and potentially harmful".

Pledges in it include ending "abhorrent" practices like "conversion therapy", also known as "gay cure", where people undergo pressure ranging from so-called "counselling" to violent "exorcism" and even "corrective rape", in a bid to force them to be heterosexual.

She continued: "I was struck by just how many respondents said they can not be open about their sexual orientation or avoid holding hands with their partner in public for fear of a negative reaction".

The survey also found that half of those who accessed or tried to access mental health services said they had to wait too long.

Launching the government plan, Ms May said: "No one should ever have to hide who they are or who they love".

The move comes after a survey of 108,000 LGBT+ individuals in the United Kingdom found the therapy more prevalent than previously thought.


'I was struck by just how many respondents said they can not be open about their sexual orientation or avoid holding hands with their partner in public for fear of a negative reaction.

The Government is also today publishing its long-awaited consultation on how to reform the law on people changing their legal gender from the one they were assigned at birth, which now requires a doctor's approval. Dawn Butler, Labour's shadow women and equalities minister, said: "Much of this plan is yet more reviews and consultations".

Our Action Plan is a step towards everyone - regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics - being able to live safe, happy and healthy lives where they can be themselves without fear of discrimination.

Britain on Tuesday unveiled its "action plan" to tackle discrimination against the gay community, which includes bringing forward legislation to ban the practice of conversion therapy.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: "The LGBT Action Plan is a welcome start but it falls short on key issues".

"But we need to make sure we de-medicalise this and improve the process so that it isn't so bureaucratic, so intrusive and so hard for people".

Prime Minister Theresa May said the 75-point plan aimed to deliver lasting change and address the "burning injustices" faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

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