The Bristol Liberal Democrats have tabled a motion to Full Council on 7 Dec calling for a complete ban on so-called Conversion Therapy and similar practices that purport to “cure” people of their sexuality or gender identity.
The motion has been tabled by Councillor Andrew Brown who says “So-called conversion therapies can be hugely damaging to people who are subjected to them. Rather than allowing them to live a full and free life, such approaches encourage people to live in denial of their full nature, often exasperating the feelings that cause them to pursue them in the first place.
“I know from personal experience as a gay man brought up in fundamentalist Christian circles that seeking to deny an aspect of your life is not a recipe for happiness. Instead, it can lead to depression and self-esteem issues whereas being able to accept and express oneself fully leads to greater fulfilment.
“After a long delay, the government has finally brought forward some proposals, which they are currently consulting on. Unfortunately, these are inadequate and fail to understand how many of these practices work, particularly in a religious setting. A key concern is the government’s intention not to outlaw such approaches for those over 18 which fails to understand how people can effectively be coerced into seeking “help” within some faith environments. I am also concerned about the impact of legislation on trans people within our society.”
National Liberal Democrat policy, passed overwhelmingly at autumn conference, is to oppose conversion therapies.