Post Cass, it’s time to challenge the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy)

Aug 6, 2022 by

by Shelley Charlesworth, Transgender Trend:

The landscape for the treatment of children and young people with gender distress has changed utterly over the last six months. The Cass Interim Report began the process in March, followed by news in July that the Tavistock’s gender clinic for children, GIDS, is to close early in 2023. These profound changes come as the Conservative Party is electing a new leader, which means a new government with a new legislative timetable. Whether the proposed bill to ban conversion therapy survives a change in leadership is in doubt. And while the bill at present would ban such therapy for sexual orientation alone, there’s still a strong lobby pressing to include gender identity in the ban.

The lack of evidence for such conversion therapy practices and the need to look at sexual orientation and gender identity separately has been documented extensively by Transgender Trend, including here, here and here and by the EHRC here.

But whatever happens with the bill, health professionals and therapists will remain constrained, and fearful of implementing the real changes outlined by Dr Hilary Cass while the ideological threat posed by the Memorandum on Understanding on Conversion Therapy (MoU) remains in place. Therapists who work with children are also bound by the strictures of the MoU. They have to agree that a patient’s belief in their gender identity, a girl’s belief that she is actually a boy for instance, is always to be affirmed. Any other approach is deemed conversion therapy.

It’s clear that the MoU now stands in direct conflict with the Cass Interim Report, compelling its signatories to an affirmative approach to treating patients. It demands that those treating gender confused young people agree:

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