Tory LGBT+ MPs urged to sign letter to PM demanding conversion therapy ban

Boris Johnson deemed more likely to listen to MPs who are Tory & LGBT+


London, UK – 2 March 2021


The Peter Tatchell Foundation has written to all 24 out LGBT+ Conservative MPs, asking them to sign an Open Letter to the Prime Minister. The letter urges Boris Johnson to deliver the government’s pledge to ban LGBT+ conversion therapy – a pledge first made by the Conservative government over two and half years ago.

“We believe that an appeal to Boris Johnson from LGBT+ Conservative MPs is likely to have the strongest influence. Their support will, hopefully, help encourage the Prime Minister to end the ceaseless delays and bring forward legislation,” said Peter Tatchell.

A copy of the Open Letter to the Prime Minister which follows below

The letter to LGBT+ Tory MPs is part of the Peter Tatchell Foundation’s campaign which calls on the Conservative government to “stop dithering” over its promise to outlaw the “unethical, ineffective and harmful” practice of LGBT+ conversion therapy.

The campaign includes a petition, backed by actor Stephen Fry:

See Stephen Fry’s message of support:

The petition already has over 6,000 signatures – and growing.

The letter by Peter Tatchell to Conservative MPs states:

“We are very appreciative of your support for LGBT+ human rights and respectfully request your help in pressing the Prime Minister to honour the pledge to outlaw the unethical, ineffective and harmful practice of LGBT+ conversion therapy – a practice that has been condemned by all the world’s leading medical, psychological and counselling professional associations.”

“As a LGBT+ Conservative MP, we believe that your support for legislation to ban conversion therapy will carry particular weight and moral authority”

Open Letter to Boris Johnson urging a ban on LGBT+ conversion therapy

Dear Prime Minister

We write to you as LGBT+ Conservative MPs.

In July 2018, your predecessor as Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader, described LGBT+ conversion therapy as an “abhorrent” practice and promised to outlaw it.

We welcome the fact that you also condemned this unethical, ineffective and damaging practice last year.

However, we are concerned by the lack progress in enacting legislation

Being LGBT+ is not an illness. The moral and welfare case against conversion therapy is overwhelming. The UN has called for it to end globally. Here in the UK, a Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy was signed in 2015 and again in 2017 by all major UK medical and psychotherapy organisations. They called for a law to ban it.

A survey conducted by the Ozanne Foundation in 2019 found that one in five survivors of conversion therapy in the UK later attempted suicide, while two in five said they had suicidal thoughts after undergoing the harmful practice. We can’t afford to delay any longer. It is time to end the suffering caused by LGBT+ conversion therapy.

We accept that conversion therapy is a complex issue, but we are cheered by the Australian state of Victoria that faced similar legal hurdles but recently introduced legislation that is already viewed as a standard for others to follow. It offers a template that could be adapted by the UK.

We would be grateful if you could confirm to us that the government is still committed to outlawing this abusive practice and, if so, when we can expect legislation to be tabled.

Conversion therapy has no place in our society. We urge you to ban it at the earliest opportunity.

Your sincerely,