Despite debate in parliament and assurances from the government that so called ‘gay cure’ therapies would be banned in the UK many treatments are still readily available on the NHS.
Following a day of debates on gay cure therapies, where many ministers spoke out against the subject and condemned the practise as ‘torture’ Health Minister Jane Ellison ruled out legislation to ban it entirely.
A number of MP’s, including Conservative Nick Herbert, Labour’s Wes Streeting and Conservative Mike Free, spoke on the issue. Mike Free said that the psychotherapy industry was thus far not regulated by statue and that the government needed to ‘go further’ to ensure that ‘quack’ therapies were rooted out.
‘It remains possible for people within the UK to be referred by an NHS professional to a psychotherapist for so called ‘gay cure therapy” he said during a debate on the subject in Parliaments Westminster Hall. ‘Being gay is not a disaster, being gay is not an illness. To suggest otherwise is not only demeaning, it is medically wrong.’
Health Minister Jane Ellison acknowledged the harms that gay cure therapies cause, and praised a Memorandum of Understanding banning referrals within the NHS.
However, she went on to say that the government would not be pressing ahead with legislation to ban these therapies. She said, ‘I fully understand the concerns about gay conversion therapy as they’ve been expressed, but the government has no current plans to ban or restrict via legislation.’
‘We don’t either have a plan to introduce statutory regulations for psychotherapies but I say that in the knowledge that it is a position that is challenged – and one to which I will go away and reflect after the debate.’
It’s worth noting that Ellison’s statement that the government has ‘no plans to ban or restrict’ gay cure therapies is following on from a statement given by Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan last week that ‘conversion therapies have no place in the UK and should be stamped out’ and a pledge David Cameron made in April to end gay cure therapies.
Is it any surprise the Tory government would make these promises more than once, but when the time came to actually take action against it chose to turn it’s back on the cause?