Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch adds MORE delays to conversion therapy ban
The outlet details there had been plans for a Joint Committee of MPs and Lords to expedite a ban on the archaic practice, however Badenoch has insisted on reviewing those plans, laid out by predecessor Nadhim Zahawi.
ITV Editor Paul Brand noted that: “It’s normal for new ministers to review work of their department, but Badenoch has previously been an Equalities Minister, adding to the sense of merry-go-round and delay. Her position on a ban has previously been ambiguous and led to resignation of equalities advisors in 2021.”
It’s normal for new ministers to review work of their department, but Badenoch has previously been an Equalities Minister, adding to the sense of merry-go-round and delay. Her position on a ban has previously been ambiguous and led to resignation of equalities advisors in 2021.
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) October 31, 2022
A government spokesperson in the equalities department said, “The minister for women and equalities will consider the responses to the public consultation on conversion practices before responding in due course. We have taken steps to ensure that victims of conversion practices have access to the support they need through a new service which launched in September.”
While the UK government, in April, sparked furious backlash after it was revealed their long-promised ban on conversion therapy was not going ahead.
Then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to pull a double U-turn on the decision following a huge public outcry, but the revised ban excluded trans people.
LGBTQ+ Business Champion Iain Anderson sensationally quit over the whole debacle and the government was forced to cancel its international ‘Safe be Be Me’ conference, in light of over 100 LGBT+ groups withdrawing their support.
Anderson has since been announced as the new Chair of Trustees at Stonewall.
The practice of conversion therapy can take various forms but often refers to any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity, using psychological, physical, or spiritual interventions. It is based on the assumption that being lesbian, gay, bi or trans is a mental illness that can be ‘cured’.
These therapies are widely considered ineffective, unethical and harmful for anyone who undergoes the process.
Chair of the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition Jayne Ozanne told ITV News: “I despair at yet another delay by this government – who have told us for years that they are working ‘at pace’, whilst countless other countries have just got on and banned it!”
“We know that the majority of the public join us in wanting a full ban and, like us, cannot understand why any minister truly committed to protecting the LGBT+ community would want to delay it.”
Badenoch has a blurry record when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, and following her appointment as Equalities Minister, many LGBTQ+ Brits used Twitter to share their concerns, specifically pointing to a 2018 audio recording – obtained last year by Vice – in which the Minister for Equalities could be heard making anti-trans comments.
Vice World News detailed that the leaked recording included the MP questioning same-sex marriage and asking, “what are transsexuals looking for?”, which would understandably be a bit of a red flag, given her literal job description as Minister for Equalities is “addressing the discrimination and inequalities that LGBT people face”.
“It’s no longer about minority rights in terms of race any more or nationality,” Badenoch can be heard saying per the Vice report. “it’s now, you know like, it’s not even about sexuality now, it’s now like the whole transgender movement, where, OK well we’ve got gay marriage, and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looking for?”
Badenoch then says: “Even when, you know, so, people hear about, you know like the whole bathroom thing, it’s actually more of an American thing but they have a similar problem, that, right so now it’s not just about being free to marry who you want, you now want to have men using women’s bathrooms.”
Likely that a Joint Committee would take oral evidence from witnesses, also allowing those with religious and other concerns to voice their opinions and help shape the bill, potentially finding an accommodation for all after years of delay. Now nobody knows what happens next.
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) October 31, 2022
Extremely disappointing that the long-promised ban on conversion ‘therapy’ is being delayed further.
The Equalities Minister has repeatedly shown that she doesn’t care about equality.
We need action. It’s been 4.5 years. #BanConversionTherapy now.https://t.co/H5T0OGChpT
— Cllr Ria Patel (@Ria__Patel) October 31, 2022
Fours years after a promised ban on conversion therapy, Kemi Badenoch has just announced further delays. Let’s be clear: the #ConservativeParty wants to roll back #LGBT rights, not just #transrights. We need to stand together. #LGBWithTheT.
— Helen Clarke (she/her) (@Dr_HelenClarke) October 31, 2022