Douglas Murray Douglas Murray

We don’t need a new law against ‘conversion therapy’

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The Queen’s Speech laying out the government’s legislative agenda included a commitment to banning conversion therapy. Douglas Murray argued against the need for new legislation in The Spectator‘s 27 March edition of the magazine. 

Earlier this month, with the citizenry still confined to their houses, borrowing at record highs and GDP in a record slump, there was a debate in Westminster Hall about ‘conversion therapy’. An internet petition has called on the government to ‘Make LGBT conversion therapy illegal in the UK’. And so for a couple of hours MPs from across the major parties competed with each other to express their horror at gay and trans people being subjected to this practice.

Feelings ran high. Nobody spoke against. One Conservative MP arguing for criminalisation, Alicia Kearns, claimed that she had come into parliament with ‘one legislative change I wanted to deliver, which was to ban conversion therapy’. How well-represented the voters of Rutland and Melton must feel themselves to be. Now that the gay rights cause is effectively won, all the speakers spoke with that unmistakable certainty which comes from believing the moral wind is behind you.

Proponents of a ban present this country as seething with fire-breathing zealots, eager to pray the gay away

The MP kicking off the debate paid tribute to an evangelical Anglican woman called Jayne Ozanne, who since coming out six years ago has made it her mission to outlaw ‘conversion therapy’ in the UK. In what is clearly a concerted campaign to put pressure on the government, two days after the Westminster Hall debate Ozanne and two others resigned from its unwisely created ‘LGBT advisory panel’. She preposterously asserted that the present government has created a ‘hostile environment’ for LGBT people. From her new position as self-appointed spokesperson of Big Gay, Ozanne also declared that the government ministers in charge of equality are ‘ignorant’ of issues affecting the ‘LGBT community’.

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Douglas Murray
Written by
Douglas Murray
Douglas Murray is associate editor of The Spectator and author of The War on the West: How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason, among other books.

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