More than 100,000 people in the UK have signed an online petition calling for “conversion therapy” – aimed at changing a person’s sexuality – to be made illegal. It will now be considered for a debate in Parliament, having gained the required support, two years after the government pledged to ban the practice. And the charity Stonewall has urged the government to “urgently” publish its plans to “end these harmful practices”. The government said it will “consider all options for ending the practice”. It added that certain “abhorrent and violent practices which may be classed as conversion therapy, such as ‘corrective’ rape” were already covered by existing criminal offences. Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has tabled an early day motion – used by MPs to rally support for an issue – urging the government to ban the “outdated” and “harmful” LGBT “conversion therapy”. All major UK therapy professional bodies and the NHS disagree with it on logical, ethical and moral grounds.

 

The online petition, started by Mahed Asad, says of “conversion therapy”: “The very thought of this sickens me, and I would like to see it stopped one day.” Josh Bradlow, policy manager at Stonewall, said: “Any form of ‘therapy’ that attempts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is unethical, damaging and wrong. “These so-called conversion therapies have been condemned by all major UK health organisations as they try to shame a person into denying a core part of who they are, and this can have a seriously harmful impact on their mental health and wellbeing.” Professor Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Psychiatrists should be committed to reducing inequalities, not supporting practices that are explicitly based on pathologising LGBT individuals and their sexual orientation.”

 

Conversion therapy” refers to any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity. For those who are on iMiMatch or those who know about the platform, they will agree with me that sexual orientations have never been a problem. In fact, users on iMiMatch enjoy this freedom and no one is judged or disregarded because they are gay or hetero- or bi- or whatever. Nothing on iMiMatch to push you to want to go through conversion therapy. That is why users on iMiMatch, once on the platform, never quit because they are free to be who they are without constraints. And mind you, it is not only about sexual orientation, even your religion, race, cultural preference or social class doesn’t matter on iMiMatch. Only each other matters.