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The Government’s proposed “full, trans-inclusive ban on conversion practices” raise serious free speech concerns

The UK Government has said it intends to bring forward a “full, trans-inclusive ban on conversion practices”. The aim of the Bill will be to ban “conversion practices”, defined as “acts that aim to change someone’s
sexual orientation or gender identity”. We believe this could have a chilling effect on free speech and encourage our members to write to their MPs, using our template letter, to express these concerns.

Most agree that harmful practices like pseudo-scientific ‘treatments’ or ‘re-education’ camps should have no place in contemporary Britain. But those practices are already against the law. So what is it, exactly, the Conversion Practices Bill will ban?

Our main concern is that the definition of “conversion practices” in the Bill will include benign conversations around sexuality or gender identity. This could result in criminalising personal advice, parental guidance, or religious teachings.

The possibility that the ban might include conversations between parents and children about gender identity is particularly concerning. We worry that, as a result of this ban, parents could face imprisonment for dissuading their children from undergoing irreversible medical procedures. Similarly, health professionals might be prevented from giving advice they believe to be in the best interest of gender-confused children, such as urging them to pause and reflect before having life-changing surgery. It’s not enough for the Government to claim that “those providing medical care and support are in no way impacted by this Bill”. If a health professional refuses to affirm the self-diagnoses of a trans adolescent who demands medical treatment to enable them to transition, it’s unclear how they won’t be caught by the ban.

Given the severity of these implications, the Free Speech Union is urging its members to write to their MPs to highlight these concerns. We need to make sure that freedom of speech remains protected, particularly in sensitive and potentially life-altering circumstances.

Time remaining for you to raise this issue with your local MP:

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Here’s how you can take action

We strongly urge you to voice your concerns about any proposed “conversion practices” ban by reaching out to your local MP.

While certain harmful practices should indeed be banned – and are banned – this legislation could infringe on free speech, parental rights, and the ability of medical professionals to provide appropriate care. It’s essential that we communicate these concerns to our representatives to ensure they understand the potential ramifications and take them into account during the legislative process.

Please take a few minutes to fill out the form below. It’s a simple, fast process that can have a significant impact. We’ve even provided a template to help, but feel free to personalise it with your concerns. Your voice matters and this is an important opportunity to make it heard.


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