What is conversion therapy and will it be banned?

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04/23/2021

According to NHS England, conversion therapy, sometimes called “reparative therapy” or “gay cure therapy”, is based on attempts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It and other professional bodies have warned all forms of conversion therapy are “unethical and potentially harmful”. In practice, this means trying to stop or suppress someone from being gay, or from living as a different gender to their sex recorded at birth. It can include talking therapies and prayer, says Jayne Ozanne, a former government equality adviser subjected to the practice. More extreme forms can include “exorcisms, physical violence and food deprivation”, she says. Some forms, such as “corrective” rape, are already illegal. One man who underwent conversion therapy, Justin, told the BBC he did it in a bid to fit in with his religious upbringing – an experience which left him “emotionally traumatised”.

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