‘Let’s get it done!’: Alyn Smith MP Calls for End to LGBT+ Conversion Therapy


Categories: Inequality, UK Government (Westminster)

SNP MP Alyn Smith has called on the UK government to “get it done” and bring about an end to the cruel practices around conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. 

Mr Smith, an openly gay man, explained during a parliamentary debate on the matter on Monday night (8 March) that he himself had not had experience of conversion therapy, but that a startling number of people had.

According to recent figures, 5% of LGBT+ people in the UK have been offered conversion therapy at some point, with 2% having undergone it. Mr Smith pointed out that the figure for transgender people is even higher, with 9% being offered conversion therapy, and 4% having undergone it. 

Mr Smith last called on the UK government to take action on this in September last year, pointing to the broad consensus across the Commons in favour of outlawing these dangerous practices. 

Alyn Smith MP said: 

‘I welcome the broad range of support across almost all parties to ban LGBT+ conversion therapy. These are utterly fraudulent and deeply damaging practices to individuals who themselves can often already be in very vulnerable situations. 

‘When I put this to the UK government last year, I received warm words. It’s time that turned into action, and we haven’t seen any to date. 

‘Legislation to ban conversion therapy was passed in Germany last year. It is also illegal in Switzerland, parts of Australia, Canada, and some of the United States. It’s high time that the UK caught up. 

‘It would not be enough to just outlaw gay conversion therapy. Transgender people experience higher rates of becoming victims to conversion therapy, and every effort must be made to protect trans people from this cruel practice.

‘The only people left supporting LGBT+ conversion therapy are bigots, and we cannot let them continue to hold us back from doing the right thing. So I was pleased to join colleagues from across the Commons in calling for the government to act, and to reiterate my calls that they get on with it.