UK: Gay ‘Conversion’ Therapy “Has No Place in NHS” Says Health Minister

British health minister, Norman Lamb MP [Image: Wikipedia]

British health minister, Norman Lamb MP [Image: Wikipedia]

The British health minister has written that so-called ‘gay conversion therapy’ has “no place” in the UK’s National Health Service. Norman Lamb, a Member of Parliament for the Liberal Democrats, has also asked the NHS in England for assurances that doctors will not refer patients to such treatment.

According to The Guardian, fifteen British MPs have written to the health minister to demand tougher measures against the recommendation of gay ‘conversion’ therapy by GPs, and also calling for a full ban on such methods. Mr Lamb, an MP for North Norfolk, also heard from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and British LGBT activist group, Stonewall, about this ‘counselling’, which attempts to change a person’s homosexuality to heterosexuality.

Gay conversion therapy, Mr Lamb said, “is based on the completely false premise that there is something wrong with you if you happen to be gay. […] I certainly want to do what I can, as a Liberal Democrat, to eradicate this.”

Other British MPs have also been highly critical of this controversial treatment. Last November, Stephen Gilbert MP commented during a debate on the topic at Westminster: “In the 21st century, no [LGBT] individual should be accessing this kind of voodoo psychology. Instead, we should be providing services which help give them confidence and support them with their sexuality.”

Sarah Boseley, health editor of The Guardian, wrote:

Fifteen MPs of all parties have written to Lamb in the past few days, calling for the government to do more. They say it is not enough to warn health professionals against gay conversion therapy – they should be given training to help patients who come to see them with concerns about their sexuality, they say. NHS links with therapists who attempt gay conversion should be investigated and a ban to act as “a red flag” should be seriously considered.

 

About Scott De Buitléir

Scott De Buitléir is an author and poet from Dublin, Ireland. He is founder of EILE Magazine, a digital publication for the Irish LGBT community, and has published several works of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. He lives in Cork with his partner.
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