I’m pleased to announce that yesterday, Sandra Osborne MP (Lab), alongside a cross-party group of sponsors, including Crispin Blunt (Con) and Stephen Gilbert (LD), tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) against the practice of gay-to-straight conversion therapy.
This EDM will remain available for MPs to sign for the rest of the Parliamentary year. To really raise the profile of the issue of gay conversion in Britain, it’s vital that we get as many MPs as possible to add their names to this.
That’s where we could use your help. Please write to your MP, asking him/her to support EDM #219 on “Gay-to-Straight Conversion Therapy in the UK”. We’ve provided a draft letter for you to use for this purpose at the bottom of this post. Feel free to copy and paste it into an email or letter. If you’re unsure of who your MP is, please click here.
If you have any other questions, please do get back to us.
Draft Letter to MPs:
Re: Gay-to-Straight Conversion Therapy in Britain – Please Sign EDM #219
Dear [INSERT MP’s NAME HERE],
I am writing as a constituent to raise concern about the practice of gay-to-straight conversion therapy in Britain. Conversion or reparative therapy is the attempt by individuals, often posing as learned professionals, to alter the sexuality of homosexual patients, who frequently approach conversion therapists in desperation, having been led through abuse from peers to believe that their sexuality is an illness.
Despite being condemned by virtually every professional medical organisation as both ineffective and psychologically damaging to LGBT patients, with Health Minister Norman Lamb having acknowledged that the practice “may well cause significant harm,” conversion therapists are permitted to practice freely in the UK, most notably in the under-regulated psychotherapy sector. Indeed, a 2009 survey of 1300 British therapists revealed over 200 had attempted to change at least one patient’s sexuality, whilst an undercover investigation for the Independent found one conversion therapist claimed most of her clients were forwarded to her from her local GP’s surgery. In the wake of these findings, the BMA called on the Department of Health to investigate whether NHS money had been used to fund conversion therapy.
Despite this, however, there hasn’t been a single Select Committee investigation, House of Commons Library publication, Westminster Hall Debate nor even the most cursory government assessment of the scope of the issue in Britain. I believe this has to change. I thus write to ask if you would be willing to:
- Support the Early Day Motion against Conversion Therapy, lodged by Sandra Osborne MP (Lab) and co-sponsored by a cross-party group of MPs, including Crispin Blunt (Con) and Stephen Gilbert (LD). It calls for the practice to be banned for under-18s and for any links between trained professionals and conversion therapists to be investigated.
- Raise my concerns about conversion therapy to the relevant bodies, noting particularly its unfettered practice by some psychotherapists and the allegations of NHS links with conversion therapists, with a view to igniting a long-overdue debate on the problem in Parliament.
Thank you for your time in reading this letter. I hope you are able to sign EDM #219 and make representations on this issue on my behalf.
I look forward to hearing from you.
[INSERT YOUR NAME HERE]
[INSERT YOUR ADDRESS AND POST CODE HERE].
 For further information, please see Diana Johnson MP, “It’s Now Time for Parliament to Tackle the Issue of Gay Conversion Therapy”, Pink News, 25 May 2013.