UK: Conversion therapy ban must not infringe on religious freedom

UK: Conversion therapy ban must not infringe on religious freedom, says equalities watchdog

Unlike New Zealand, the UK seems to be taking a more cautious and considered approach to any ban on ‘conversion therapy’, with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) saying that any ban on ‘conversion therapy’ “must not infringe upon religious freedom.”

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said “Encouraging people to comply with religious doctrine that requires refraining from certain types of sexual activity should not fall within the definition of conversion therapy either.”

The EHRC also warned of a “chilling effect” on therapists, and said that parents and teachers are at risk of being criminalised if they question a child’s desire to change gender. It’s calling on the UK Government to also ensure that clinicians and therapists are not prohibited from providing appropriate care and support for individuals with gender dysphoria. The UK Government is being asked to postpone the ban until legislation has been amended to ensure basic freedoms are safeguarded.

The EHRC’s intervention also has the support of the Christian Institute which says:

“Christians must not be put at risk of prosecution just for inviting LGBT people to embrace the Christian faith,”

Such concerns about violations to basic freedoms and religious beliefs were not considered when the New Zealand Government pushed its flawed bill into law last week.

Read more here.

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