We believe that children with gender dysphoria deserve appropriate and evidence-based treatment and that those young people and their families need to be free to seek it. Professionals should be able to support those children and their families without fear of acting illegally. We agree that ‘gender identity’ needs to be removed from draft legislation as it’s an ill-defined and highly contested concept and does not have children’s well-being at its heart.
We welcome the statement that “There is a justifiable concern that the motivation for the inclusion of ‘gender identity’ … is grounded in a political viewpoint of gender identity not on scientific evidence of harm caused by such therapy”. The conversion therapy bill in its current state risks criminalising parents who don’t believe that unquestioningly agreeing with their child’s ‘gender identity’ is in the child’s best interests.
Safeguarding and supporting children needs to be put back at the heart of legislation. The political motivations of lobby groups should have no place here.
We endorse the ‘Scoping Survey’ on the proposed ban on conversion therapy in the UK from the Thoughtful Therapists group. This group have surveyed the relevant documents, policies and practices currently in force in a number of countries and made recommendations with regard to the UK government’s proposals. They are concerned that a ban on exploratory therapy for gender dysphoria could be detrimental to both therapists and clients, because the alternative, affirmation-only approach does not allow scope to explore other causes for gender dysphoria.