Julie Bindel

The EHRC is right about the trans conversion therapy ban

The EHRC is right about the trans conversion therapy ban
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Before I saw the statement, ‘It is with sadness and deep regret that LGBT Foundation is severing all ties with the EHRC [Equality and Human Rights Commission],’ I had never heard of the charity, the LGBT Foundation. How I wish it had remained so. The reason why the Foundation had taken such umbrage with the EHRC is because it had released two statements this week that, according to trans-activists, are ‘extremely damaging [to trans-people] and cannot be supported in any circumstances.’

One statement was about the proposed conversion therapy legislation in England and Wales. The EHRC rightly point out that bullying and coercing lesbians or gay men to become heterosexual, in the name of therapy, is a human rights violation and unacceptable on every level. I should know, in 2014 I went to a small Christian town in Colorado to undergo conversion therapy. I was doing undercover research, and my cover story was that I was deeply unhappy being a lesbian because my church and my family had rejected me. I made it very clear that my unhappiness was caused by external forces, i.e. anti-lesbian bigotry, but despite this, the so-called therapist tried every trick in the book (such as, ‘did your mother really love you?’ ‘Were you sexually abused as a child which led to you hating men?’) to get me to denounce lesbianism.

These people don’t really care if we become actively heterosexual or not, they just want to stop us acting on same-sex attraction.

But the proposals for the new conversion therapy law in the UK include gender identity. Ultimately, if this is passed, it would mean that any talking therapy offered to young people presenting to medical professionals with gender dysphoria would become illegal. As the EHRC pointed out in its report, gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation.

It is known that many of the children that present with gender dysphoria go on to be lesbian or gay in later life, and continue to live as their biological sex. I really could’ve done with some therapy when I was struggling as a young teenager with the feelings I developed for a girl in my class. I thought I must be really a boy, and this belief was backed up by the bigots in my school that told me I wasn't a real girl. If that were today and I presented at a gender identity clinic, I would now possibly be on hormones. What I would have needed was a friendly, skilled ear to listen to my distress and tell me that I was perfectly fine as I was.

Criminalising therapy for kids who believe they are trapped in the wrong body, as opposed to giving them support to live happily as they are, would be an abhorrence.

Referring to the government consultation document on banning conversion therapy, the EHRC rightly points out that it, ‘contains no clear definition of what will amount to “conversion therapy” caught by its proposals, nor of the meaning of “transgender” – a term which has no clear legal meaning, is potentially wider than the concept of gender reassignment in current UK law, and is understood by different people in different ways.’

I’m not surprised, having looked at its website, that the LGBT Foundation would be appalled at anything other than instant confirmation by clinicians that a gender dysphoric child is actually transgender, as opposed to talking therapies. This is how it defines ‘woman’:

‘Our spaces are for all self-identifying lesbian, bi, queer or questioning women, trans women, non-binary/genderfluid people wishing to access a women-centred space, and for those whose gender identity includes woman some or all of the time.’

The second statement objected to by the LGBT Foundation is about proposals by the Scottish government to amend the GRA in order to allow for trans-people to be able to self identify as the opposite sex. But all the EHRC has done is to recommend that the government takes the time to properly consider the consequences. It is clear that the EHRC made a mistake in 2017 when it supported such measures, and four years later has a much better and clearer understanding of how this would lead to a clash of rights between trans people and women and girls.

The LGBT Foundation is not the only organisation speaking out against the EHRC. Liberty, which became captured by trans ideology some time ago, put out this statement:

‘The EHRC is doing the opposite [of supporting the rights of everyone]. It is putting obstacles in the way of equality by adding further unnecessary delays to vital legislation and undermining the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people in the process.’

I think they mean that obstacles are being put in the way of extreme trans-activists who wish to remove women's sex based rights. I fail to see how the others in the alphabet soup of LGBTQ are adversely affected, because as per usual, only the T matters.

Thanks to feminist campaigners and right minded lesbians and gay men, the EHRC has seen the light on both of these crucial issues. It is, after all, supposed to uphold and protect the human rights of all, not simply pander to extreme trans activists.

Written byJulie Bindel

Julie Bindel is a feminist campaigner against sexual violence

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