British Lawmaker to Introduce Bill to Ban Conversion Therapy

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Monday October 21, 2013

A British member of parliament plans to introduce a measure that would ban licensed therapists from using conversion therapy, which some believe can "turn" gay people straight, Gay Star News reports.

Geraint Davies, a member of the Labour Party (the U.K.'s liberal party), wants to make it illegal for mental health therapists to use the controversial conversion therapy on LGBT individuals by making stricter guidelines for therapists and councilors.

"Anyone can set themselves up as a counselor or psychotherapist without training or experience with no recourse for the patient if something goes wrong," Davies said, according to Gay Star News. "Millions of people, often with mental health problems who are therefore vulnerable and at risk, are being given therapy in an unregulated industry with no uniform code of conduct or ethics.

"I call on the Government to regulate counsellors and psychotherapists by bringing them into the jurisdiction of the Health and Care Professions Council," the lawmaker said.

If the bill is passed, psychotherapists and councilors would have to meet specific qualifications and requirements. According to Gay Star News, the measure has bipartisan support and 53 members of parliament have approved the bill. The website also reports that when the government was lead by the Labour Party, there were plans to regulate mental health officials but when the conservative party took over in 2010, those plans were put on the backburner.