Send an email to your MP – Press pause on conversion therapy law

The Government is trying to rush through a ban on “conversion therapy”. But the proposed legislation risks criminalising parents, teachers, therapists, social workers and others, if they don’t affirm a child’s gender self identity.

It only takes a minute to send this message to your MP: tell the government to #presspause.

The message to MPs

I am writing to tell you urgently about a piece of legislation that the government is trying to rush through – starting with a consultation lasting just six weeks – that will put children and vulnerable people at risk. 

The government is proposing to ban “conversion therapy”. This sounds straightforward; of course everybody condemns the barbaric “gay cure” conversion therapies that used to go on, involving electric shock treatments, imprisonment and medication. But this has not been a practice in the UK for decades. There is no evidence that such abusive practices are happening now, and they are already illegal.

This legislation covers something different: “gender identity” and in particular explorative therapy offered to children and vulnerable people who are having issues with their gender. 

Over the past few years there has been a massive rise in the number of children, particularly girls, becoming convinced they were “born in the wrong body” and seeking to take puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones.

This is a controversial, experimental medical treatment for a complex mental health issue. We have also seen an increase in the number of young people “detransitioning” and regretting the irreversible changes made to their bodies. 

This is a difficult medical issue, and the Department of Health has commissioned Dr Hillary Cass to undertake an independent review of the evidence and to recommend ways forward. 

Now is not the time to legislate with a simplistic approach that divides therapy into “affirmation” and “conversion” and which threatens to criminalise parents, teachers, therapists and social workers if they do not immediately accept a child’s own diagnosis that they are transgender. 

I am attaching a briefing paper by the campaign group Sex Matters which gives a summary of the legislative proposal, and of concerns. They would be happy to talk to you if you have questions. 

As your constituent, and someone who is seriously concerned about this legislation, I am asking for your help. Will you contact the Mike Freer, Minister for Equalities, Liz Truss, Minister for Women and Equalities and Kemi Badenoch, Minister for Equalities and convey to them my concern. 

Please ask them to :

1. Extend the consultation period beyond 6 weeks.
2. Revisit the research evidence.
3. Wait until the Cass Review has completed its work.

With best wishes

[Your name]

Send the email

What happens next: The email is sent to your MP with a copy of our briefing paper.  The email will be sent from the Sex Matters email address, with your email address as the “reply to”. For your records, we will also send you a copy of the email. If you receive a response from your MP let us know.

We will send out guidance later to help you complete the consultation.

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