Conversion therapy is “unethical and harmful” and should be banned “without delay”, the UK’s Hindu and Buddhist communities have said.
The Hindu Council and the Buddhist Dhamma Center this week issued statements condemning conversion therapy, a coercive measure used to change an LGBT + person’s sexuality or gender identity that is still legal in the UK.
The Dhamma Center wrote to its directors on Friday, “We believe that all people, regardless of their sexuality and gender identity, are precious and valued beings and are a precious part of the Universe.
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“We affirm that any practice that seeks to change, heal, nullify or remove a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression has no place in the modern world.”
On Monday, the Hindu Council UK – a voice on political issues for Hindus – said it “affirms that any practice that seeks to change, heal, nullify or suppress a person’s sexuality or gender identity has no place in society “.
In an open letter, the organization wrote: “This is unethical, harmful and is not supported by evidence … we call on the government to ban ‘so-called’ conversion therapy without delay. as a degrading and harmful practice.
The support has been welcomed by activists, who are calling for “a full legal ban” as more than 1,000 days have passed since the government pledged to ban the practice in 2018.
The government last spoke about conversion therapy in May, announcing it would implement a ban “as soon as possible,” after conducting a “short” public consultation to “ensure the ban can concern practice while protecting the medical profession, defend freedom of speech; and defend religious freedom.
Part of the delay is believed to be due to hard-line evangelical Christian groups questioning a total ban.
The Evangelical Alliance met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss his position earlier this year, urging prayers and guidance to be protected for anyone considering their sexuality or gender identity.
If the ban excludes prayer, activists say it allows the most common form of conversion therapy to continue.