Exclusion of trans people from conversion therapy ban ‘a throwback to Article 28’

The exclusion of trans people from the conversion ban marks a return to the “bad old days” of Section 28, a former LGBTQ government adviser has claimed.

A series of laws introduced in 1988 by former Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher banning the ‘promotion of homosexuality’, the comparison comes after the government’s series of U-turns following plans to scrap the ban altogether .

Ministers were forced to reverse their original decision following heavy criticism, instead pledging to ban practices that attempt to change sexual orientation, but not gender identity.

“Something Very Dark”

Talk to TLEJayne Ozanne, a conversion therapy survivor and director of the Ozanne Foundation, accused the government of undermining progress in trans rights advocacy.

“The public response is that the inclusion of trans people in the ban is complex and sensitive, but it is only a smokescreen for an agenda against one of our most vulnerable communities which has, in its heart, something very dark, which for many is the complete erasure of trans people,” she said.

“I’m not saying that’s what the Prime Minister wants, but I think those who advised him around him have an agenda. I don’t think he understands anything at all. He certainly does not listen to the experts who are there to advise him on sensitive and complex matters.

Conversion therapy (also called “healing” therapy or “restorative therapy”) refers to any form of treatment or psychotherapy aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or removing their gender identity.

According to the association for the defense of LGBT rights, Stone wallit is based on the assumption that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans is a mental illness that can be “cured”, and is considered unethical and harmful by medical professionals and activists around the world entire.

In a report released by the charity, one in five trans people experienced pressure to access services to remove their gender identity when accessing health services.

“Lasting Scars”

Garrard Conley, an American author and LGBTQ activist, described how conversion therapy not only tried to strip him of his sexuality, but also tried to stifle his creativity and self-esteem.

He said: “When I started conversion therapy I had no idea what real therapy looked like – so I thought it might be ethical. But when I was asked to use hatred against my father as a tactic to heal myself, I began to understand that conversion therapy used very unorthodox methods.

“I’ve been living with the effects of such ‘treatment’ for some time, and even though I’m not trans, the experience of being ‘corrected’ at every turn has left lasting scars that have severely limited my options. in life.

“If such a rigid gender ideology affected someone like me, imagine how harmful it would be for a trans person.”

Ozanne was one of three members of the government’s LGBTQ advisory committee who resigned in March 2021, saying he was “astonished at the ignorance” of his equality ministers, and expressed concern about the “hostile environment ” experienced by the LGBT community.

She was followed by James Morton, an official with the Scottish Trans Alliance, who said he had been “very concerned for several months that Liz Truss and her deputy ministers were not committed to equal opportunities. LGBT”.

Last week ministers were forced to cancel the UK’s landmark International LGBTQ Conference after more than 100 organizations withdrew their support for the ‘unacceptable’ decision to exclude trans people from the ban.

The government’s decision also led to the resignation of its LGBTQ business champion, Iain Anderson, who became the latest figure to speak out against the “deeply shocking” stance on banning conversion therapy for transgender people.

“I don’t think you can say the government is pro-equality, pro-compassion or pro-security. The reasons the Prime Minister gave, especially the need for “more time”, are complete nonsense. We have been working on this for years – we have international precedence,” Ozanne said.

“The ridicule of a government wanting to hold a Safe To Be Me conference while removing the main form of safety that we were looking for, especially for the trans community, I don’t think anyone is lost. ”

“Ruthless Betrayal”

Thousands of protesters gathered outside Downing Street last Sunday, with similar action in Dublin and Belfast, calling for transgender people to be included in the ban on conversion practices.

They could be heard shouting “uphold the trans ban” and “LGB with the T”, as many protesters waved the pink, white and blue flag of transgender pride in a clear show of unity.

Peter Tatchell, the prominent LGBTQ activist and human rights activist, said TLE“The Prime Minister appears to have taken a decision to appease those who oppose the protection of trans people and who support attempts to turn them into cisgender people.

“Excluding trans people from protection against abusive and harmful conversion practices is shameful. It’s a ruthless betrayal that will leave vulnerable trans people at the mercy of exorcisms, abuse, emotional blackmail and psychological abuse.

“This exclusion calls into question the government’s commitment to LGBT+ rights. It sounds like a divide and conquer tactic. Under President Boris Johnson, progress has stalled on LGBT+ rights. We are very pessimistic about the future.

The Conservative Party has pledged to end conversion practices for nearly four years and has been pledged by ministers 35 times, but no legislation has been introduced, according to the New Statesman.

Since 2018, conversion therapy has been banned by 11 state governments in Australia and the United States, while in the past four months conversion therapy focusing on sexuality and gender has been banned in Canada , France, Israel and New Zealand.

Tory MP Dehenna Davison, who came out as bisexual in October, tweeted: “We had a huge opportunity to prove that the UK (and the Conservative Party) are defenders of freedom.

“As a conservative member of the LGBT+ community, it’s so wrong that we’ve come to this.”

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