Birmingham based charity condemns the use of conversion therapy in the LGBT community

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Local charity is in what they call a “fight” to the end the practise once and for all.

Trans Rights activists protesting
Trans Rights protest outside Birmingham Town Hall Credit: @OhSarahSavage

Conversion therapy is trying to change one’s sexual identity psychologically through the use of counselling. For example, trying to turn a lesbian woman into a heterosexual woman.

Birmingham LGBT- one of the city’s leading charities have denounced the practice and called for it to be outlawed.

This comes after the news that the government earlier this year pulled a U-turn in their decision to ban the use of conversion therapy outright. They have put conditions of the ban that it is allowed within religious practise.

Nancy Kelly, Chief Executive of Stonewall expressed her concern over religious practises being removed from the ban: “there are still concerning gaps that the Government must close, including on prayer and statutory support for victims.

In a statement, Stonewall say the procedure was “fundamentally wrong” and urged their followers to join the #BanConversionTherapy movement.

Steph Keble, Director at Birmingham LGBT spoke about the psychological effects it can have on members within the community: “It can lead to considerable damage to LGBTQ+ people who already experience poor mental health often as a result of prejudice and discrimination.

“It is important that LGBTQ+ people are affirmed and able to be their true selves. Any form of talking therapy should be non-judgmental, ethical and LGBTQ+ affirmative.

Earlier this year, the government’s Women and Equalities Minister, Liz Truss engaged with many victims of conversion therapy as they detailed the negative effects they had from the procedure.

Speaking on the proposals, Liz Truss said: “There should be no place for the abhorrent practice of coercive conversion therapy in our society.

“Today we are publishing detailed proposals that will stop appalling conversion therapies and make sure LGBT people can live their lives free from the threat of harm or abuse.”

Many in the LGBTQ+ community feel that this is a step in the right direction, but that there is still more work to be done. Stonewall have been campaigning for a complete ban for many years.

Mrs Kelley added: “You cannot change an LGBTQ+ person from being who they are, and to try to do so causes lasting damage.

“The UK Government’s proposals to ban conversion therapy are a huge step forward to consign this practice to the history books.

“A practice that is abusive cannot be consented to; the ban must not allow for any excuses or any exemptions.”

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