Wednesday, July 04, 2018

United Kingdom to Ban Conversion Therapy

Every legitimate medical and mental health association in America and across the globe has condemned so-called gay "conversion therapy" as ineffectual if not outright dangerous.  Its practitioners are charlatans and frauds, often hiding behind the label of a church affiliated "ministry" in an effort to dodge regulations that increasingly ban licensed therapists from engaging in the fraudulent practice.  Twelve states in America ban it and now the United Kingdom is preparing to ban it nationwide, a huge defeat for Christofascists who use the "choice myth" for propaganda and to rake in money from the gullible.  A piece in The Guardian looks at the movement to ban conversion therapy and to end mistreatment of LGBT citizens.  Here are highlights: 
The government will appoint a national LGBT health adviser and take measures to end so-called conversion therapy as part of a plan to deliver what Theresa May has promised will be “real and lasting change”.
The proposals form part of an action plan published by the Equalities Office on Tuesday. It follows a UK-wide survey of LGBT people that had more than 108,000 responses, billed as the largest study of its kind.
The 30-page plan contains a series of pledges, including to improve the police response to LGBT hate incidents, more support for LGBT students and teachers and improvements to gender identity services for transgender adults.
The proposals, which will receive an initial £4.5m in funding, were welcomed by the campaign groups Stonewall and the LGBT Foundation.
The online poll, which ran from July to October last year, sought views from LGBT and intersex people about their personal experiences and interactions with public services. . . . 68% said they had avoided holding hands in public with a same-sex partner, while 70% said they had at times not been open about their sexual orientation.
In comments released with the plan, the prime minister said the survey had highlighted where more efforts were needed.
The survey found 5% of respondents had been offered and refused types of conversion therapy – discredited techniques often based around religious views that seek to change people’s sexual orientation. Another 2% had undergone such processes.
 The plan promises to end these practices, with the Equalities Office to look into various legislative or non-legislative ways to do so. . . . They are often modelled on mainstream methods of psychotherapy, and sometimes prayer, and are known to be harmful.
All the major UK regulatory bodies for counselling and psychotherapy have banned members from using such methods, as has the NHS. However, a 2015 study by Stonewall found 10% of health and care staff had heard colleagues express the belief that sexuality can be “cured”.
The survey also found 26% of respondents had experienced verbal harassment or other insults in the past year, with many saying they did not report even more serious incidents to the police. New measures to improve the police’s response to such incidents will be proposed.
Penny Mordaunt, the minister for women and equalities, said: “Our action plan is a step towards everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics, being able to live safe, happy and healthy lives where they can be themselves without fear of discrimination.”
May is to host the annual Downing Street LGBT Pride reception on Tuesday evening. Among the guests for the first time will be Peter Tatchell. The veteran campaigner said May had invited him after he was “banned” previously.
In a separate statement, Tatchell called the action plan a “welcome start”, but said it fell short on issues such as the deportation of LGBT refugees to countries where homophobia was widespread. The £4.5m budget was “derisory and insulting”, he added.
The efforts in the UK are the direct opposite of the agenda of the Trump/Pence regime which seeks to rescind LGBT protections, pander to Christofascists, and grant a license to discriminate against LGBT citizens.

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