Plans to ban conversion therapy delayed amid growing unease from parents, teachers and church

Dec 10, 2021 by

by Hayley Dixon, Telegraph:

Plans to ban conversion therapy have been delayed amid complaints that it could criminalise parents, teachers and religious leaders.

Amid growing disquiet about the impact of a ban, the Government has announced an extension to their consultation on the ban so that “the widest possible views are taken into account”.

The Telegraph understands that officials were “shocked” by the responses to the consultation and had not anticipated how “sensitive and complex” the issues were, particularly around gender identity.

There has also been growing backlash among MPs and peers, who feared that it could lead to prosecution for anyone supporting children who believe they are transgender.

It has been warned that a ban could force professionals and clinicians to take an “affirmative” approach to those questioning their gender identity and lead to an increase in the number undergoing irreversible medical treatment.

The announcement comes after Nikki da Costa, a former head of legislative affairs at No 10, warned in this newspaper that the Government “must slow down” because the changes could have “damaging consequences for children”.

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