UK: Parliament to tackle ex-gay therapy

Labour MP proposed bill to ban the practice in October

Following Labour MP Geraint Davies’ proposal to ban ex-gay therapy, the UK Parliament is set to debate the practice Nov 20, Pink News reports.

In making the proposal last month, Davies called conversion therapy a “discredited, so-called treatment,” Pink News says. Davies, who reportedly has support for his bill from MPs among the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru (described as a Centre-left party in Wales) and his own Labour Party, suggested that making regulation compulsory is the way to end the practice.

More than 50 MPs signed a motion in June against gay conversion therapy. The motion states in part, “This House believes that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not a disease or illness and that therapy which attempts to cure or change a person’s sexual orientation is both ineffective and potentially extremely harmful.”

It also calls on the government to “investigate any NHS [National Health Service] links with conversion therapists, ensuring that NHS medical professionals cannot inflict this cruel treatment on their patients and to take steps to ban conversion therapy for under-18s.”

In July, trade union organizations and more than 40 LGBT groups also called on the government to put an end to the therapy.

According to Pink News, professions like psychotherapists and counsellors are not regulated, and ex-gay therapists can pursue their practice in the UK without having to belong to a professional organization.

Natasha Barsotti is originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. She had high aspirations of representing her country in Olympic Games sprint events, but after a while the firing of the starting gun proved too much for her nerves. So she went off to university instead. Her first professional love has always been journalism. After pursuing a Master of Journalism at UBC , she began freelancing at Xtra West — now Xtra Vancouver — in 2006, becoming a full-time reporter there in 2008.

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