The government is launching a consultation on how to make coercive conversion therapies illegal in the UK.
Setting out proposals today for how they plan to crack down on “coercive and abhorrent” practices that seek to change sexual orientation or gender identity of individuals, the Government Equalities Office said: “We recognise there is a plurality of experience in this area and that there are adults who seek counselling to help them live a life that they feel is more in line with their personal beliefs.
“We do not intend to ban adults from seeking such counselling freely, but consent requirements will be robust and stringent.”
Following the six-week consultation, the Equalities Minister, Liz Truss, will then decide on whether the plans should be amended, before a bill is drawn up by next spring.
The aim is to put the bill onto the statute book by May 2022.
When a national LGBT survey was conducted in 2017, around 5% of people who responded reported having been offered conversion therapy, and a further 2% of those respondents said they had undergone it.
Ensuring physical conversion therapy acts are sentenced appropriately and introducing a new offence for so-called talking conversion therapies.
Ensuring those found guilty of conversion therapy offences have any profit they obtained from those crimes removed, and strengthening the case for individuals to be disqualified from holding a senior role in a charity where they are convicted of a conversion therapy offence.
Introducing Conversion Therapy Protection Orders to protect potential victims from undergoing the practice, including abroad – this could include removing passports of potential victims, who are at risk of being taken overseas for conversion therapy.
Exploring further measures to prevent the promotion of conversion therapy.
Speaking on the launch of the consultation, Liz Truss – Minister for Women and Equalities – said: ”There should be no place for the abhorrent practice of coercive conversion therapy in our society [so] we are publishing detailed proposals that will stop appalling conversion therapies and make sure LGBT people can live their lives free from the threat of harm or abuse.
“As we build back better from the pandemic, I want everyone to be able to love who they want and be themselves.”
She also added that the “archaic practice” has “no place in modern life.”
Jayne Ozanne – who quit the government’s LGBT advisory panel in March and has direct experience of conversion therapy – told The Guardian that she welcomed the launch of the consultation, but added that she was “deeply concerned about the loophole it creates by allowing adults to consent to these harmful and degrading practices”.
She added that the consultation document “makes little mention of the harm that religious practices are known to cause”.
Alicia Kearns – a Conservative MP who has long campaigned for a conversion therapy ban – praised the “robust proposals” but added that she remains “unconvinced that anyone can consent to such an abusive practice.”
“I will look closely at the proposed ban to ensure that victims and survivors get the protections they need and deserve,” she concluded.
Stonewall UK also took to Twitter this morning to express some concerns over the launch of the consultation, saying: “Stonewall, alongside many other organisations, activists and our supporters, has campaigned for years for a ban, and the strength of these proposals is testament to the impact we have collectively had in that time – however, there are still concerning loopholes that the UK Government must close, including on prayer and statutory support for victims.”
“We also can’t support the proposals if they allow for people to “consent” to conversion therapy – a practice that is abusive cannot be consented to.
If we are to truly put this shameful practice behind us, the ban must not allow for any excuses or any exemptions.”
You can find more about the proposals via the gov.uk website here.
Featured Image – Unsplash
Herd of Santas descend on Manchester healthcare clinic for pre-Christmas ‘elf check’
A gaggle of Santas have been spotted visiting Pall Mall Medical healthcare clinic in Manchester city centre, getting their ‘elf checks’ in before Christmas.
The group were also joined by TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones, who has issued a stark health warning ahead of the festive season – especially for Father Christmas who doesn’t exactly have the healthiest lifestyle.
So scores of Saint Nicks gathered in Manchester today for an exclusive appointment with Dr Hilary ahead of their 41 million mile journey on Christmas Eve.
The private healthcare clinic on King Street, right in the heart of Manchester, will be offering health screens for everyone, with 20% off in December.
Today’s event at Pall Mall Medical was demonstrating the seasonal once-overs offered there with its ‘Santa Stop Here – Free Elf Check’.
It’s estimated that in one day, Santa Clause eats 2.3 billion mince pies and guzzles 138,389,578 litres of sherry – the same as 55 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or 181 million times the recommended weekly intake.
Concerned Dr Hilary, who is Pall Mall’s ambassador for health screens, said these eye-popping statistics justify Father C is in dire need of an elf MOT.
The health checks can detect ailments from prostate cancer to heart issues.
Dr Hilary said: “When you digest the figures, it’s a miracle Santa is still going strong.
“A lifestyle like his could lead to chronic fatigue at best – diabetes or heart disease at worst.
“We all love a mince pie or three during the festive season, but without sounding too much like a nutcracker he is going way Ho Ho Ho-verboard!
“Of course, Christmas is a time to indulge, but it is still smart to limit food and drink on the naughty list.
“Hopefully, Santa will take note and adopt an elfier lifestyle this year, so he doesn’t become a ghost of Christmas future next year!”
Watch more on Pall Mall Medical here:
Dr Chun Tang Medical Director of Pall Mall, who conducted the Santas private health screens added: “There is nothing more important than health and prevention is better than cure. A private health screen can detect issues before they become a serious medical concern.”
Throughout December Pall Mall Medical is gifting people a discount on private health screens to mark the festive period.
Simply quote ‘Ho Ho Ho’ at the reception desk and receive 20% off a Well Woman or Well Man health screens throughout December, and quote WINTER10 for 10% off GP appointments.
Manchester gaming bar NQ64 claps back at one-star review harassing its staff
A popular gaming bar in Manchester has clapped back at a one-star review that attacked a staff memberby calling them a ‘progressive student gimp’ for wearing a crop top.
NQ64, which has two sites in Manchester – one in the Northern Quarter, and a second on Peter Street – hit out at the rude reviewer this weekend in an act of bartender solidarity. The bar shared the insulting review, left by username Corbin A, to its Instagram page on Sunday alongside a sunny picture of its bar team: all wearing crop tops and grinning sassily into the camera.
The caption on its response post, which has already been liked over 2,200 times, read: “This one’s for you, Corbs – stay progressive x” with a peace sign emoji.
The full one-star review from the unimpressed Corbin A, who has left three reviews on the platform in total, read: “Half your time in there is spent stood waiting to go on games, the other half is watching some progressive student gimp in a crop top take 10 minutes to pour you one drink while he tries to act like a bartender making random throwing movements with glasses and bottles.”
Commenting underneath, followers chimed in thick and fast with their support for the bar and its staff, with one writing: “Please start selling crop tops that say ‘Progressive Student Gimp.'”
Another person said: “Bar staff solidarity! You love to see it ❤️ still the best bar(s) in Manchester.”
A third wrote: “f*ck yeah. This is why I love you guys!!”
A fourth added: “That review should surely be 5 stars! I mean this is a bloody good reason to go, no?!”
Full of retro arcade games and classic consoles, gaming fans can sip on cocktails, craft beers and spirit mixers whilst playing all of their favourites – including the likes of Pac-Man, Time Crisis 2 and Guitar Hero will be additions such as the Mario Kart arcade game, Time Crisis 3 and NBA Jam.
Arcade games are played using a token system, whilst elsewhere there are a selection MegaDrive, PlayStations, GameCube and Super Nintendo consoles for people to get stuck into.