A Conservative MP has said critics of Boris Johnson’s plan to water down a ban conversion therapy are just pursuing “warm, fuzzy feelings”.
The government’s first international LGBTQ+ conference could be cancelled after at least 100 organisations pulled out over the exclusion of transgender people from the ban.
But Mark Jenkinson, the MP for Workington, said demands from many other Tory MPs that trans people be included were “virtue signally BS”.
Conversion therapy is the use of methods, such as aversive stimulation or religious counselling, to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender.
The government pledged to end the practice in 2018, under Theresa May.
But last week ITV reported the promise was to be abandoned completely.
Following a backlash the government said conversion therapy would be banned - but not for trans people.
Several Tory MPs have said a full ban must still be introduced. Alicia Kearns, the MP for Rutland and Melton, said: “We cannot exclude our trans friends - why should quacks and charlatans be allowed to continue to cause life-long harm to them?”
Jamie Wallis, the Conservative who became the UK’s first openly trans MP lsat week, said he was “bitterly disappointed” by the government’s decision.
Religious leaders, including the former archbishop of Canterbury, have also written to the PM warning there was “no justification” to exclude trans people.
Stonewall has said the LGBTQ+ community’s trust in the government is “shattered” and was withdrawing its support for the planned conference “with a heavy heart”.
It said it is “appalling” that the prime minister would “so casually walk away from four years of promises to the LGBTQ+ community”.
The charity said: “It is apparent that trans people have once again been sacrificed for political gain.”