Extreme ‘conversion therapy’ bill to be debated in parliament

8 February 2024

A ‘conversion therapy’ bill set to be debated in parliament on Friday 9 February could criminalise school dress codes.

The bill would criminalise any member of the public, not just therapists, for private, consensual conversations.

Privately telling a friend not to engage in a sexual activity until they are in a long-term relationship could be seen as suppression of a person’s sexual identity and thus criminalised. This could be the case even if the friend had asked for advice.

Teaching or preaching Christian sexual ethics would also be criminalised under this extreme bill.

Parents who do not allow their child to cross-dress would also be criminalised for supressing their child’s gender identity. The same would apply to parents who continue to refer to their children by their birth name or gender.

Schools and other organisations that insist on different dress codes for boys and girls could be criminalised for the practice of ‘conversion therapy’ if a child claims that they have a different gender identity. School sex-specific uniforms could be seen as an attempt to suppress a child’s gender identity and thus criminalised.

The bill would bring in a comprehensive ban on any practice deemed to be attempting to change or supress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Christian Concern has produced a briefing on the proposed bill.

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern said:

“No parliamentarian who cares about parental rights or free speech or human rights should support this bill.

“It is absurd that parliamentarians are even considering a bill that would criminalise telling boys and girls to dress differently, and criminalise ordinary people for private consensual conversations.

“Giving someone the simple advice to remain celibate until married could be ruled as an attempt to suppress their sexual identity and thus criminalised.

“This bill would criminalise expression of Christian sexual ethics. It would be a serious breach of human rights.

“There is no excuse for anyone to back this totalitarian and draconian bill.

”We urge members of the House of Lords to attend this debate on Friday and voice their opposition to this bill.”


This Friday, a private member’s bill to ban ‘conversion therapy’ will be debated in the House of Lords.

The bill has been tabled by Baroness Burt of Solihull.

There are no age limits and no defences provided against an accusation of ‘conversion therapy’.

The bill defines ‘conversion therapy’ as follows:

“In this Act, ‘conversion therapy’ is any practice aimed at a person or group of people which demonstrates an assumption that any sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to another, and which has the intended purpose of attempting to—

  1. change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, or
  2. suppress a person’s expression of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Christian Concern has previously threatened the government with legal action if it goes ahead with its proposed ‘conversion therapy’ ban. This would involve an application for a Declaration of Incompatibility under Section 4 of the Human Rights Act.

Christian Concern has published a legal opinion by Christian Legal Centre lawyer Roger Kiska, who specialises in International Human Rights Law, arguing that any such ban would breach human rights.

Christian Concern, through its Wilberforce Publications ministry, has also published a book by distinguished sociologist Patricia Morgan entitled: Banning Conversion Therapy: The Missing Evidence.

Both the book and the legal opinion have been sent to all MPs to warn them of the dangers of banning ‘conversion therapy’.

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