The UK government has refused to make gay conversion therapy a crime.
Following the submission of a petition signed by more than 11,000 people, the Department of Health replied that while the government “totally condemns any attempt to treat being gay, lesbian or bisexual as an illness,” it “does not believe creating a criminal offence is the right way forward.”
The response to the petition added:
“There is no evidence that this sort of treatment is beneficial, and indeed it may well cause significant harm to some patients.
“It is incumbent on professionals working in the National Health Service to ensure that treatment and care, including therapy, is provided to every patient without any form of discrimination.”
Instead, the Department of Health said, it would be using training and raising awareness in order to wipe out conversion therapy.
“This Government is committed to tackling discrimination towards LGBT people,” the response added.
“That is why we have already worked with the main registration and accreditation bodies for psychotherapy and counselling practitioners, including the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), to develop first a consensus statement and then a Memorandum of Understanding committing signatory organisations to a range of activities including training and awareness raising amongst their members in relation to this issue.”
The response concluded: “This Government has already taken the necessary steps to prevent the practice of gay conversion therapy in the UK.”