In the her speech earlier today in front of the British parliament, Queen Elizabeth II announced that the country will ban so-called conversion therapy that attempts to turn LGBTQ+ people heterosexual or cisgender.
In a 10-minute prepared speech, the queen laid out her plans for the country’s future, including health care, business, education, and housing. She also addressed conversion therapy. “Measures will be brought forward to address racial and ethnic disparities and ban conversion therapy,” she announced.
The queen delivered the speech, but the words are traditionally written by the prime minister as a way to announce upcoming governmental plans. While no details were given by the queen herself, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government said they would ban the “abhorrent practices which can cause mental and physical harm.”
“People should be free to be themselves in the U.K.,” the briefing notes released with the queen’s speech read. “The ban will eliminate coercive practices which cause mental and physical harm to individuals. We will ensure the action we take to stop this practice is proportionate and effective, and does not have unintended consequences. We will ensure medical professionals, religious leaders, teachers and parents can continue to be able to have open and honest conversations with people.”
The briefing notes also said that the government has commissioned research into the effects of conversion therapy and will be developing a “package of support” that will “ensure victims of conversion therapy are able to find and access the help that they need,” and plan to unveil it by this summer.
This is part of a move many countries around the globe have joined in on to ban the practice. Last year Albania became the third country in Europe to officially ban conversion therapy. Germany and Malta had previously done so after the European Union formally voted to condemn the practice and urged all members to ban it.
Other countries, like Canada, are currently considering a ban. In the United States, 20 states and Washington, D.C. have banned the practice for minors, including Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. However, 26 states still have no ban and no policies addressing conversion therapy.
President Joe Biden has condemned conversion therapy and said that one of his goals as president is to ban the practice. On the campaign trail he called the practice “sick” and vowed to put an end to it.