Conversion therapy: Top lawyer says Labour MP Bill ‘likely’ to breach freedom of religion

Mar 2, 2024 by

from Premier:

A prominent human rights lawyer has expressed concerns about a Private Member’s Bill (PMBs) on conversion therapy proposed by a Labour MP, asserting that it could “constitute a serious intrusion into the legitimate activities and practices of Christian churches and religious communities”.

Jason Coppel KC also contends that the bill would “interfere with the legitimate expression of gender-critical views” in a manner that could violate the Human Rights Act 1998.

These remarks were made as the House of Commons debated Lloyd Russell-Moyle’s proposals on Friday, aimed at outlawing conversion practices related to sexual orientation and transgender identity.

While introducing the bill in Parliament, Russell-Moyle addressed concerns about freedom, conscience, and religion. He stated, “On the expression of religious belief, look, I might not like the fact that a priest or another religious figure can stand up on their religious day and say there shouldn’t be LGBT people or LGBT people should convert; in my view, it’s not a pleasant thing to say, but it is also not conversion practice.

“We have ensured that as long as it’s not targeted to a specific individual as a course of conduct, a repeated activity towards an individual, it will never be an offence.”

However, Coppel argues that while exemptions have been incorporated into the bill to safeguard the practice of religion, “the central prohibition in the Bill … remains a wide one, applying to churches and other religious organisations, and to those expressing certain views, including gender-critical views, outside those settings.”

Read here

Read also:  New ‘conversion practices’ bill risks policing conversations by Carys Moseley, Christian Concern

‘Conversion practices’ Bill fails in House of Commons from Christian Concern

“Most dangerous” conversion therapy Bill falls at the first hurdle in Westminster from Let Us Pray

Read debate on Hansard


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