What is the House of Commons asking?

In their 2018 manifesto, the Conservative Party stated their intent to end LGBTQ+ conversion therapy. They once again re-iterated that stance in a statement by Equalities Minister Liz Truzz on June 5th this year.

On Friday 3rd July 2020, however, The House of Commons has put out a survey asking how Conversion Therapy affects the LGBTQ+ community, and whether or not it should be made illegal. This survey was then removed, and the original tweet deleted.

As with the consultation around the Gender Recognition Act that the government conducted in 2018, it is imperative that we work together as a community to ensure that our voices are heard and that this barbaric and awful this type of therapy is to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

On this website is information, supported by hard evidence, that was compiled with the intent to help you in answering the questions that the House of Commons were asking. While the tweet and survey have now been removed, this work will continue to stand as a source of information and proof of the power of our community to come together in solidarity.


@HouseofCommons How does #conversiontherapy affect the #LGBTQ community? Should it be made illegal? What would that mean to you? @HoCpetitions is investigating a petition calling for the practice to be made illegal. Click the image to share your insights ⬇️ Deadline: Monday 13 July

The first two questions ask for your Personal Details


Q3. How does conversion therapy affect the LGBTQ+ community?

This question is an opportunity to highlight key cases in history and show how they impact every part of the LGBTQ+ community.

  • The story of Carolyn Mercer was published by the BBC in 2019, in which she shared that conversion therapy meant she was “strapped to a wooden chair in a dark room as doctors dipped electrodes in brine and attached them to her arm. As each photograph snapped into view, a current was passed through the electrodes to give her a painful electric shock.”

"We have waited at least two years for this to happen, during which vulnerable LGBT+ people have been at risk and very likely harmed.

It is therefore essential that the government acts swiftly. The UK aspires to be a beacon on LGBT+ rights. In this case, that means having a thorough law that protects all LGBT+ people."

Tris Reid-Smith
Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Gay Star News

Q4. Should the practice be made illegal? What would it mean to you?

There is clear precident from the United Nations and many national medical bodies supporting the criminalisation of conversion therapy.

  • In 2014, the Royal College of Psychiatrists issued a Statement on Sexual Orientation that said “There is no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed... Furthermore, so-called treatments of homosexuality can create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination flourish… The College would not support a therapy for converting people from homosexuality any more than we would do so from heterosexuality.”

  • The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) has campaigned for some years against 'reparative' therapy and issued the following guidance to its members in 2011: “for a UKCP member to offer or conduct psychotherapy or psychotherapeutic counselling with the express aim of altering 'sexual orientation' is an ethical offence”

  • From a religious standpoint, Revd Canon Adrian M Rhodes said in 2012: “The religious quest [is a] powerful exploration of what it is to be human, in all its richness and diversity. It is as wrong to pursue through psychotherapy, a religious agenda which predetermines homosexuality as wrong, as it would be to use psychotherapy to define religious faith as pathological state to be eradicated.”

  • The United Nations stated in a memo released in May 2020 that all nations should move to “Ban the practices of conversion therapy as described” and that “practices of conversion therapy, based on the incorrect and harmful notion that sexual and gender diversity are disorders to be corrected, are discriminatory in nature.”

"The religious quest [is a] powerful exploration of what it is to be human, in all its richness and diversity. It is as wrong to pursue through psychotherapy, a religious agenda which predetermines homosexuality as wrong, as it would be to use psychotherapy to define religious faith as pathological state to be eradicated."

Adrian M Rhodes
Revd Canon

Q5. How should ‘conversion therapy’ be defined?

Conversion therapy impacts every single part of the LGBTQ+ community. It is harmful to Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual people on whom it is used to deny the validity of their sexual orientation, and it is harmful to Transgender individuals, including those who define as non-binary, gender fluid, agender, and gender non-conforming on whom it is used to deny their gender identity and expression.

  • The United Nations stated in a memo released in May 2020 that defines Conversion Therapy as “an umbrella term to describe interventions of a wide-ranging nature, all of which are premised on the belief that a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity, including gender expression, can and should be changed or suppressed when they do not at all under what other actors in a given setting and time perceive as the desirable norm, in particular when the person is lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or gender diverse.”

"We take it for granted that we can speak about these things openly, or even to have the language to express that ‘I experienced conversion therapy'."

Sahar Moazami
UN Program Officer at OutRight Action