Conversion therapy is a treatment that aims to alter a person's sexual orientation and gender identity.
The proposal states that there is no justification for the proposal, and the evidence clearly shows it doesn't work.
For the next six weeks, the government will solicit public feedback on the ban.
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British Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss presented Friday's proposals to criminalize conversion therapy. This is a practice which seeks to alter an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.
The proposals, if enacted would make it a crime to perform conversion therapy on minors or those over 18 years old who have not consented. It also would increase the sentences for violent acts during conversion therapy. According to the proposal, anyone who violates this ban could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.
"As we recover from the pandemic, I want everyone in this country to feel free to be who they are and love who they are." Truss stated that today's announcement outlines how we will ban an ancient practice that is not appropriate for modern life.
Many conversion therapy proponents liken same-sex attraction and being transgender with a defect, weakness, or addiction. They then use conversion therapy as a control or remedy.
Former government equality advisor Jayne Ozanne, who was a convert therapy survivor, said that conversion therapy can take many forms. They include prayer and talk therapy as well as exorcisms or physical violence.
The proposal states that "there is no justification to these coercive, abhorrent practices" and also cites evidence that it doesn't work.
The government will solicit public input regarding the ban over the next six weeks and look into other ways to stop the promotion and advertising of conversion therapy. It also seeks feedback about other measures proposed, including support packages and prosecutions of UK citizens and residents who are convicted of offenses in the UK.
According to the UK Government Equalities Office, legislation will be drafted by the UK Government and introduced before Parliament in spring 2022.
Only five countries, including Brazil, Ecuador and Germany, have a ban on conversion therapy.