UK ‘conversion therapy’ Bill tabled by Lib Dem Peer

A Bill seeking to ban so-called conversion therapy across the UK has been introduced as a Private Members’ Bill in the House of Lords.

The proposal from Lib Dem Peer Baroness Burt of Solihull seeks to impose unlimited fines for those deemed to offer “any practice” that assumes “any sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to another” and intends to “change” or “suppress” either.

The House of Lords is expected to debate the proposals in the new year, but Private Members’ Bills rarely become law.

Legal advice

The Christian Institute has commissioned legal advice on Lady Burt’s Bill.

It has been raising concerns about “ideological and restrictive” legislation in this area since it was first proposed by then Prime Minister Theresa May.

The Institute’s Simon Calvert recently explained: “All the abusive practices you would expect to be banned are banned. What activists want is not a law against abuse, it is a law against disagreeing with Stonewall orthodoxy in your conversations with gay or trans people.

“As Jason Coppel KC has made clear, any legislation going further than the existing law would seriously impact free speech, religious freedom, freedom of association, and the rights of parents.”

No protections

In a statement the Liberal Democrats claimed the Bill has been written to “robustly differentiate” between “religious advice and conversion therapy”.

However, its vague wording contains no protections for the ordinary work of churches, and any advice based on biblical sexual ethics would appear to fall foul of the proposals for believing that one “sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to another”.

Also see:

Affinity urges No.10 to ‘stand firm’ against criminalising ordinary Christians

Christian teachers warn against conversion therapy Bill

MP: ‘Conversion therapy Bill must not push kids towards irreversible harm’

Related Resources