We don’t need a new law against ‘conversion therapy’

Mar 25, 2021 by

by Douglas Murray, Spectator:

[…]  The MP kicking off the debate paid tribute to an evangelical Anglican woman called Jayne Ozanne, who since coming out six years ago has made it her mission to outlaw ‘conversion therapy’ in the UK. In what is clearly a concerted campaign to put pressure on the government, two days after the Westminster Hall debate Ozanne and two others resigned from its unwisely created ‘LGBT advisory panel’. She preposterously asserted that the present government has created a ‘hostile environment’ for LGBT people. From her new position as self-appointed spokesperson of Big Gay, Ozanne also declared that the government ministers in charge of equality are ‘ignorant’ of issues affecting the ‘LGBT community’. And with the zeal of the newly converted, she claimed that ‘among the community’ (on whose behalf she apparently now speaks), the ministers are known as ‘the ministers of inequality’. As though any self-respecting gay would make a joke that lame.

As in so much of the Westminster debate, no evidence was required for this claim. All that was demanded was unanimity and a faintly familiar moral opprobrium. Yet it is precisely at such moments that dissenting voices are needed. If legislation came into force based on the current arguments, it would backfire because it has been thought through so poorly.

Proponents of a ban present this country as though we are seething with fire-breathing zealots, eager to pray the gay away. In fact all the established churches and every medical and psychological authority are already united in condemning such practices. While MPs were talking of electric shock therapies and more, they seemed to be forgetting that it is already illegal to physically harm people in the UK. As it is to exercise coercive control. If any of this was tried on children and discovered, then it should already lead to the punishment of the perpetrators. Where things like ‘conversion therapies’ have been discovered — and they occasionally are, generally among the country’s more ‘diverse’ congregations — then it is not clear how a new piece of legislation would stop them. The possibility that a specific law could be some additional deterrent against law-breaking is the only viable argument that the crusading MPs and activists have on their side.

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