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King's Speech expected to include draft conversion therapy ban

Religious Liberty
19 October 2023
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Despite intense media speculation that Rishi Sunak was minded to shelve plans to introduce a draft conversion therapy ban, fresh reports suggest it is back on the table and will be included in the upcoming King's Speech on 7 November.

According to a story in The Times, Sunak was minded to drop the ban over fears it is unworkable, but a backlash from Tory MPs has persuaded him to include it.

It seems likely the draft bill will receive pre-legislative scrutiny. This is when a parliamentary select committee carefully examines a draft bill before a final version is drawn up by the Government.

Some campaigners like Jayne Ozanne have been upfront that they want the conversion therapy ban to be as broad as possible and include church settings and even Christian camps.

Expert legal advice has suggested an overly broad ban would be open to a legal challenge on the grounds it undermines religious freedom and also free speech.

When the UK Government previously consulted on proposals for a new law to ban conversion therapy, CARE used its consultation response to highlight some of the practical difficulties and dangers involved with trying to pass such legislation.

Read more in our conversion therapy briefing.

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The right to freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental human right. We are campaigning to safeguard these freedoms in our society.

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