Voters want the Government to focus on the NHS and the cost of living not an “oppressive” conversion therapy ban, a major new poll has revealed.
Pollsters Whitestone Insight found that reducing NHS waiting lists, tackling inflation, and growing the economy were the top three issues for voters, with a ban on ‘conversion therapy’ among the least favourable priorities.
The Christian Institute-commissioned survey asked 2091 UK voters to select their top five policy priorities for the coming 12 months out of a list of 23 possible options.
Simon Calvert, The Institute’s Deputy Director (Public Affairs) said: “This is a significant poll. It involves over two thousand voters, showing which policy areas the public think are important.
“Despite years of campaigning by activists, the public are not at all convinced of the need for an expansive conversion therapy ban.”
He added that the figures “should come as a warning to the Conservatives and Labour” – both of whom have committed to conversion therapy bans – if they want to pick up the votes needed to form a government at the next election.
1) Reducing NHS waiting Lists (68%)
2) Tackling inflation (49%)
3) Growing the economy (44%)
4) Reducing illegal migration (33%)
5) Energy security (29%)
1) Regional devolution (3%)
2) Conversion therapy ban (4%)
3) Support for victims of crime (6%)
Mr Calvert continued: “The fact is that gay and trans people are already fully protected against verbal and physical abuse. There is no need for a new law.
“But, as we’ve shown, the kind of ban being called for would allow bureaucrats to tell Christians how to pray. It would effectively make ‘misgendering’ an offence.
“And it would criminalise parents who try to prevent their children being prescribed puberty blockers.”
He concluded: “Voters want the Government to concentrate on the big issues, like sorting out NHS waiting lists and tackling inflation, not this oppressive woke nonsense.”
Last month, the CI wrote to the Prime Minister over concerns the Government was being pressured into bringing forward conversion therapy legislation based on the Australian State of Victoria.
Under Victoria’s repressive law “not affirming someone’s gender identity”, and parents refusing “to support their child’s request for medical treatment that will prevent physical changes from puberty” are deemed illegal practices.
Recent updates to guidance on the legislation also state that Christians can only pray in a way that affirms that everyone is “perfect as they are”. Prayers that “talk about a person’s brokenness or need to repent” are deemed harmful and likely to be illegal.
The Institute argues that such wording risks even criminalising the Lord’s Prayer, which asks God to “forgive us our sins” and “lead us not into temptation”.