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Celebrating Pride Month: why banning conversion therapy is important for public protection

June is Pride month in many countries around the world, including the UK. This year’s Pride month comes after a recent Government announcement stating plans to legislate the banning of conversion therapy in the UK, set out in the Queen’s speech on 11 May. Government proposals also include, for the first time, a support fund for those affected by the practice.

We are committed to protecting the public from harm by overseeing the work of healthcare professional regulators and Accredited Registers and we oppose conversion therapy. We therefore require any relevant register we accredit to ensure that its registrants do not practise conversion therapy.

We previously expressed our support of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by organisations including the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). These organisations wanted to show their commitment to ending the practice of conversion therapy in the UK, as well as to improve training of counselling, psychotherapy and mental health professionals, and increase the emotional support available to clients who seek therapeutic help. We supported action by our Accredited Registers and made clear that under our equalities duties, we would not support any register who condoned conversion therapy. The MoU was further updated in 2018, and while there have been considerable measures to prevent its practice, conversion therapy is not currently prohibited by law in all its forms. The new legislation will change this, to protect clients across the LGBT community.