OXFORDSHIRE MPs fear a legal loophole could allow so-called LGBT conversion therapy to continue if the government passes its ban.

According to NHS England, the controversial practices - sometimes called 'gay cure therapy' or 'reparative therapy' - tries to change someone's gender identity or sexual orientation. 

The government described the methods as 'aborrent' and announced in the queen's speech it will be banning conversion therapy. 

However, MPs have expressed concern that the government's ruling won't go far enough, saying a loophole will ‘let down’ LGBT people and let the ‘worst practitioners of this insidious practice off the hook’.


Under the proposals, conversion therapy of all kinds will be banned in England and Wales for anyone under the age of 18, and adults who are vulnerable and not able to properly consent.

The Government also added any type of practice which involves physical or sexual violence is already illegal under existing legislation.

But a loophole in the proposals would not ban 'consenting' adults from freely seeking out forms of religious counselling themselves. Campaigners say this would leave the door ‘ajar’ for conversion therapy to still take place.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Layla Moran said: “Teaching people that there’s something wrong with them just because of who they love isn’t ‘therapy’. It’s cruel and can be incredibly harmful for the thousands of LGBTQ+ people who have been subjected to it.

The Liberal Democrat politician said: “These proposals don’t go far enough – the Government is leaving open a loophole that would mean vulnerable people could ‘consent’ to undergoing conversion therapy. That is not a ban. The Government are also effectively ignoring conversion therapy in religious settings, which flies in the face of the evidence we have about where this is happening.

“The Conservatives’ actions are letting down LGBTQ+ people across the UK, who still suffer far too much harm and discrimination. Liberal Democrats will continue our fight to outlaw conversion therapy outright without any further delay, and ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”

Meanwhile Anneliese Dodds, Labour MP for Oxford East, said: “It's a relief that the Government has ruled out reports that it was planning to outlaw groups that support LGBT people.

"But the fact remains that more than three years after the Government promised to ban conversion therapy, it's now come up with a consultation that appears to be letting some of the worst practitioners of this insidious practice off the hook.

“Instead of listening to siren voices whose only interest in a ban on conversion therapy is in preventing it, she should get on with introducing an outright and immediate ban on harmful practices.

“I have been contacted by a number of Oxford people who have informed me of the severely negative impact that conversion therapy had on them- and they have told me that they support a full ban.

“That is what Labour would do to keep LGBT+ people safe.”

Robert Courts, David Johnson, John Howell and Victoria Prentis were contacted but failed to provide a comment.


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