Moran: Anything less than a full ban on ‘conversion therapy’ is unacceptable

Writing in Gay Times, Layla Moran has called out those that think being gay is something other than normal and want to convert ‘gay people’ into ‘ordinary people’. Moran wrote:

The LGBTQ+ community is an incredible tapestry of different sexual orientations and gender identities. Each of them is valid and should be celebrated. But practices exist which seek to change, cure, or suppress an LGBTQ+ person’s identity. These practices start from the position that a person expressing an LGBTQ+ identity should be challenged and corrected. They are deliberately harmful and repressive…

Shockingly these practices are still legal in the UK.

Moran talks about the impacts of so-called ‘therapy’:

For people who are subjected to ‘conversion therapy’, the consequences are severe and long-lasting. These practices deny a person’s identity, teach them that they need saving, healing, or fixing. Survivors report struggling with PTSD, eating disorders, mental health problems, and difficulties with relationships. The practices can alienate people from their communities and make it extremely hard to access support.


Moran said trans rights are human rights:

Figures from the national LGBTQ+ survey found that around 7% of LGBTQ+ people in the UK had been offered or undergone ‘conversion therapy’, with trans people almost twice as likely to have experienced it, at 13%.

The Government made a commitment four years ago to ban all forms of ‘conversion therapy’. But appallingly, the Government has since backtracked and now plans to introduce only a partial ban, that excludes trans and non-binary people…

Trans right are human rights, and we must stand together as a community to ensure trans people are afforded the same dignity, respect, and protection as everyone else. The Government must U-turn on its U-turn – anything less than a full ban on ‘conversion therapy’ is unacceptable.

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  • Posts on trans conversion therapy tend to attract comments based on a misunderstanding of the Lib Dem position on this. So I will repeat a comment that I made on another post…

    “Just to be absolutely clear, Lib Dems would never prevent anyone from accessing professional therapy, family advice or prayer. Indeed, neutral professional therapy should always be made available (though not forced) to anyone who is considering gender reassignment. This would be an open exploration of the options and could result in the person choosing to progress as trans or choosing to stay as they are.

    What we oppose is the kind of non-professional intervention (I don’t like calling it “therapy”) which starts with a pre-determined objective of changing the person’s orientation or identity, whether they want to or not.”

  • John Lib Dem 15th Jun '22 - 5:57pm

    Why don’t you allow other posts up and let readers make up their own minds over which arguments they find more convincing?

    You can state that is the Lib Dem position but in reality, none of the things you claim to wish to ban are actually happening to people (or are already illegal). The government’s own study (by researchers from Coventry University who are in favour of a ban) failed to any instances of trans conversion therapy happening at all. So what our position actually is – is affirmation only, which would effectively ban normal therapy.

    Advocates for a ‘trans-inclusive ban’ have made clear that normal therapy is what they want banned – Stonewall gave an example of ‘conversion therapy’ where a therapist simply asked about a young person’s depression and autism. The Cass review interim report found that medical practitioners already feel under huge pressure to simply refer children presenting with gender dysphoria onto gender clinics without questioning them at all.

    Why are we ignoring detransitioners? Why are we ignoring Tavistock whistleblowers? Why aren’t we concerned about the activities of providers like Gender GP and the Webberleys? Why are we ignoring leading trans healthcare professionals such as Dr Erica Anderson and Dr Marci Bowers (both trans women) when even they recognise there are issues?

  • Brad Barrows 16th Jun '22 - 12:18am

    Layla Moran says “These practices deny a person’s identity, teach them that they need saving, healing, or fixing.”

    I have to say that Religion is a protected characteristic that is as legally protected as the other eight Protected Characteristics. While Layla may disagree with people who believe that people need ‘saving, healing or fixing’, those people are fully entitled to their beliefs and should not be discriminated against on account of their religious beliefs.

  • Jenny Barnes 16th Jun '22 - 9:25am

    “those people are fully entitled to their beliefs and should not be discriminated against on account of their religious beliefs.”
    Which does not mean they should be allowed to put people through mental or physical torture to “correct” their sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Mick Taylor 16th Jun '22 - 1:46pm

    The whole area of trans rights and discrimination and/or outright hostility to trans people is a political minefield. It is getting to the point where most people – including Liberal Democrats – just keep quiet and don’t even enter the debate.
    Layla is right and should be supported.
    As to people having the right to religious beliefs, well, as a Liberal and a Quaker I support the right to qualified free speech as outlined clearly by JS Mill in ‘On Liberty’. There are undoubtedly some religious people who are bigots and racists, but the law now prevents them from speaking and acting on such thoughts. It’s action on such appalling practices that needs to be stopped.

  • Brad Barrows 16th Jun '22 - 7:50pm

    @Jenny Barnes
    “Which does not mean they should be allowed to put people through mental or physical torture to correct their sexual orientation or gender identity”
    No one can consent to be ‘tortured’, but adults do have the right to seek help to live their lives in the way they believe appropriate. Someone who believes that same-sex sexual activity is sinful is entitled to hold that belief and also entitled to seek prayer or other pastoral support to help them live in accordance with those beliefs. None of this should be covered by any legislation that seeks to outlaw ‘conversion therapy’.

  • nICK cOLLINS 17th Jun '22 - 7:52am

    I agree with Jenny.

  • Whilst the party states that it would would never prevent anyone from accessing professional therapy, family advice or prayer. The law would have to be extremely tightly worded so there was absolutely no wiggle room at all for any group trying to prevent a person who thinks there are trans from accessing professional therapy, family advice or prayer, or for the family offering their advice even if it is not sought.

    Until campaigners can 100% reassure politicians and parents that their necessary challenging of person who wishes to transition will not be criminalised then the prospect of Trans conversion therapy being implemented are zero.

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