The Christian Institute and its Let Us Pray campaign has been defending the ordinary work of churches since the Government announced it was considering a ban.

‘Conversion therapy’ is a wide umbrella term chosen by LGBT campaigners. It covers abusive practices by quack medical practitioners and charlatan preachers which are largely illegal already. But campaigners want to go much further and criminalise repentance as well as preaching, prayer, pastoral care and even parenting that fails to endorse liberal theology.

Coercive and abusive behaviour should be caught by existing law. But it is wrong for biblically faithful preaching, prayer, pastoral care and parenting to be in the sights of lawmakers.

Legal challenge

During the last twelve months, The Christian Institute has been instructing solicitors in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland to prepare the ground for a potential judicial review of any laws banning ‘conversion therapy’ that restrict religious freedom.

This is based on legal advice received from one of the UK’s leading human rights QCs warning that an over-broad ban could criminalise the ordinary work of churches. This would put the UK in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and open the Government to legal challenge in the courts.

The Institute has won both its previous judicial reviews against UK governments. The first, in 2007, resulted in a partial strike down of the Northern Ireland Sexual Orientation Regulations. The second, in 2016, resulted in the repeal of the Scottish Government’s unlawful ‘Named Person’ scheme.

Read Jason Coppel QC’s April 2021 legal opinion.

Letters from our solicitors to the respective governments in Westminster, Holyrood and Stormont:

Letter to The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Minister for Women and Equalities

Letter to Deirdre Hargey MLA, Minister for Communities

Letter to Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government

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Key Resources

Resources