This post is also available in: French
In Europe, for now, Malta is the only country that has banned gay conversion therapy.
Since January, a petition has been launched in the United Kingdom to demand a ban on these methods, which are unanimously considered to be ineffective. The petition has collected more than 33,000 signatures, though 100,000 are necessary for a discussion to take place in parliament.
However, the UK Department of Health has made known the government’s position. His message was posted directly on the page of the petition:
The Government fully recognise the importance of this issue and the adverse impact this treatment could have on lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
There is no evidence that this sort of treatment is beneficial, and indeed it may well cause significant harm to some patients.
That is why we have already worked with the main registration and accreditation bodies for psychotherapy and counselling practitioners, including the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), to develop first a consensus statement and then a Memorandum of Understanding committing signatory organisations to a range of activities including training and awareness raising amongst their members in relation to this issue.
In addition, as reported by PinkNews, the government has announced that anyone who practices these conversion therapies would be immediately striked off. That seems sufficient for public authorities.
But the promoter of the petition would have liked to go further by forbidding such practices, which — as he recalls — often includes “electric shocks, counselors encouraging suicide and damaging ideology linking LGBT+ identities to sexual abuse from family members in early years.”
The current U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has in the past made ambiguous statements about the need for some to change their sexual practices.
The Pope is also a fierce opponent of the ban on conversion therapies. Finding a “gay cure” is often the business of researchers and doctors who base their practices not on science but on religion.