Theresa May calls for a ban on transgender conversion practices | transgender


Theresa May has urged Boris Johnson to ban transgender conversion practices under proposed legislation.

Writing in the i newspaper on the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first Pride, the former Tory Prime Minister said: ‘Few people, reading the testimonies of trans people, would disagree with the fact that they still face indignities and prejudices, while they deserve understanding and respect.

“We must strive to get a better understanding on both sides of the debate. Just because an issue is controversial doesn’t mean we can avoid addressing it.

“To this end, the government must fulfill its commitment to look into the issue of transgender conversion therapy.

“If it’s not in the upcoming bill, then the matter must not be allowed to slide.”

His comments follow a first decision at the end of March by the Prime Minister to abandon his plan to ban all conversion practices. However, hours after a backlash, the government backed down.

Ministers then introduced legislation – the Conversion Therapy Bill – in the Queen’s Speech that would ban conversion practices intended to change a person’s sexual orientation in certain scenarios.

But he said that due to the “complexity of the issues and the need for careful thought”, the legislation would not ban transgender conversion practices.

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In her article for the newspaper, May said she regretted her past opposition to LGBT equality, after voting against lowering the age of consent for homosexual acts in 1998 and against repealing the article 28 in 2002.

She said that 50 years after activists faced abuse and ridicule, “we can be proud of the breadth and depth of attitudinal change”.

She added: “I include myself in that – looking back now, there are issues I would have voted on differently, had I voted on them today.”

However, May’s statement comes after Scottish Conservative MSP Jamie Greene this week criticized the government for excluding transgender people from the proposed ban, calling the move “indefensible”.

Greene said: “I’m not a member of the UK government first of all – I want to make that clear – and it’s not my job to defend the indefensible.”

He told PinkNews, “We are committed to the LGBTQ+ community to ban conversion therapy. We should keep that promise and the Scottish government should do exactly the same.

“We should do it here, we should do it in Westminster, we should do it in Wales, we should do it in Northern Ireland.”

Johnson, also writing for the newspaper, said it gave him “the greatest pride to lead a country where you can love whoever you want to love”.


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