As delivered to Community’s Biennial Delegate Conference in Belfast on June 1st 2022.
Conference, Stevie McGregor, speaking to give the NEC’s support to the motion on conversion therapy.
Conference, even the name conversion therapy is too polite for what the practice describes. It is, quite simply, torture.
The government’s own statistics show that 7% of LGBT people have been offered or undergone conversion therapy. This rises to 13% amongst trans people.
It is amoral, unscientific, ineffective, and cruel. It is condemned by countless medical groups. NHS England, The British Psychological Society, Mind, The National Counselling Society to name a few. It is opposed by religious organisations across faiths.
It is opposed by politicians and peers of all parties; it is banned in countries across the world. Germany, Spain, France, Norway, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, have all beaten us to the punch.
It has been shown, time and time again, in study after study, to not work, and to cause serious damage and lifelong trauma to those subjected to it.
Conversion therapy nearly always takes place within imbalanced power dynamics, and predominantly to those most vulnerable in society. This cannot be consented to, there must be no loopholes in any ban.
Our government has promised, as they often do, to ban these practices. Yet time and time again, we’ve had dither and delay. We’ve had proposals watered down, the can kicked down the road again and again, and now they’re trying to ban its use on LGB people but not on trans people.
This is simply abhorrent, and not what some of our most vulnerable people deserve.
In backing this motion, we condemn the government’s failure to heed its own words and outlaw this practice.
In backing this motion, we say that any ban with loopholes or separations is not a ban at all, and we pledge to reach out to all of our members to form our union policy going forward.
And in backing this motion, Community says that conversion therapy against anyone in the LGBT+ community, has no place in our society.
Please support this motion.
Thank you, conference.