Conversion therapy

The conversion therapy bill is a thoroughly bad idea

I was disappointed to learn that Rishi Sunak has reconsidered his opposition to a bill banning conversion therapy. Not because I’m in favour of it, obviously. The baffling thing about Sunak’s change of heart is that conversion therapy, as commonly understood, has been banned in this country for years. As the government’s own briefing on the subject put it in 2021: ‘Our existing criminal law framework means that conversion therapy amounting to offences of physical or sexual violence is already illegal in this country.’ If a girl who believes she’s a boy is urged by her doctor to see a therapist, that doctor would be breaking the law So what

The true cause of No. 10’s conversion therapy muddle

The government has had to bow to the inevitable and cancel its own international LGBT conference after more than 100 organisations withdrew their support as a protest against the decision to not ban conversion therapy for transgender people. The die was cast much further back than last week’s botched double-U-turn on a ban on gay conversion therapy: it was when ministers committed to the legislation without thinking it through at all. This latest row highlights one of the serious problems with the way Westminster deals with legislation. Its focus is almost entirely upon the principles at stake, rather than the impact of the way the laws are drafted. This means

What would a conversion therapy ban mean for gay Christians like me?

As a gay Christian, I’m worried about the calls to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’. Of course, it’s right that gay people are protected and some of the practices referred to as conversion therapy are deeply wrong. But there’s a danger that  badly-drafted legislation could make life impossible for those working in churches when gay people come to us for help. I’ve worked on the staff of Anglican churches for twenty years. Over that time the people I have served have asked to talk and pray with me about their families, workplaces, dreams, failures, marriages, singleness, finances, addictions, sexualities, gender – and more. I have heard it all, but have welcomed