Queen Elizabeth II has announced her plans to ban conversion therapy in the UK during her first major public engagement since the death of Prince Philip last month, at the state opening of Parliament earlier today.
The UK to recover from the pandemic
Accompanied by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Queen first addressed her mission to make the UK recover from the damage it was subjected to as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. She explained that:
My Government will level up opportunities across all parts of the UK, supporting jobs, businesses, and economic growth and addressing the impact of the pandemic on public services.
A game changer for the LGBTQ+ community
But perhaps the most groundbreaking mandate the Queen revealed she would tackle is the protection of people from the practice of conversion therapy, still present in parts of the UK. She also announced that funding would be allocated, as of this summer, to those who have been victim to conversion therapy.
Liz Truss, the Minister for Women and Equalities, explained that the ban on conversion therapy would be going forward after a public consultation:
We want to make sure that people in this country are protected, and these proposals mean nobody will be subjected to coercive and abhorrent conversion therapy.
Jayne Ozanne, LGBT campaigner and General Synod member, said that although this would make for major progress, the efforts to end conversion therapy must include all forms of it so no loopholes could exist:
I am relieved to hear that measures will be brought forward to ban ‘conversion therapy.’ However, the Government risks creating a highly dangerous loophole if it chooses to focus purely on ‘coercive’ practices.
Most LGBT people in religious settings feel it is their duty to submit to those in authority and will therefore willingly follow their leaders’ ‘advice’ even if it causes them great harm.
The Government needs to implement what the UN and senior religious leaders have called for: a full ban on all conversion practices, which includes religious practices. We do not need yet more delay: they have consulted long enough. We now need action before more lives are lost.
Mentions of 'addressing racial and ethnic disparities' were also put on the table during her speech.