Houses of parliament
CREDIT: Jake Hook

The House of Common’s official Twitter account has been blasted by users after asking if conversion therapy or “gay cures” as it is more commonly known should be made illegal in the UK, despite the government already admitting that the practice was “wrong”.

As it stands gay cure therapy or conversion therapy is still legal in the UK, it has been debated and defeated in the Commons numerous times, in 2015 and then again in 2017.

Back in 2018 the Conservative UK government, under Theresa May, said that conversion therapy was something it would address in its “LGBT Action Plan”.

(C) BIGSTOCK

However, two years on, not much progress has been made on any of the points made in the plan. Now a recent Tweet by the official House of Commons Twitter account has been slammed for asking a question that many have said is not open to debate.

The tweet was heavily ratio’d after asking users “How does #conversiontherapy affect the #LGBTQ community? Should it be made illegal? What would that mean to you? @HoCpetitions is investigating a petition calling for the practice to be made illegal”

The response was swift with condemnation of the way in which the question had been posed with many people taking issue that was necessary of debate.

Conversion therapy is seen by many doctors has deeply ineffective and LGBT+ advocates say that therapy of this nature is entirely problematic.

Alison Camps, the co-chair of Pride in London replied to the Tweet,

“Is this some kind of joke? The Government pledged to do this two years ago. It’s inhuman that you continue to make us BEG for something that is so obviously barbaric.”

MP Alicia Kearns MP for Rutland and Melton also replied to the Tweet adding,

“Of course it should be made illegal, it’s abusive and fraudulent. The Government has committed to ban it already, and legislative options will be put up for consultation to determine the best legislation to protect the LGBTQ+ community.”

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“Our intention was to provide a platform for people to share their opinions”

A House of Commons’ spokesperson said,

“A Petition calling on the Government to make LGBT conversion therapy illegal in the UK has reached almost 200,000 signatures. In its response to the Petition, the Government did not make a specific commitment to making conversion therapy illegal. Given the strength of interest in this issue, the Petitions Committee decided to further the conversation by gathering evidence from the public on the subject.

“The questions posed on the House of Commons social media feeds were intended to encourage people to submit their experiences. This information will then be presented to the Government. A petition with over 100,000 signatures would usually be considered for a Westminster Hall debate, however, given restrictions placed on Parliament as a result of COVID 19, Westminster Hall debates are currently suspended.


“We apologise. Our intention was to provide a platform for people to share their opinions on this subject with the Petitions Committee, and inform its case to the Government. Clearly we misjudged this and have now deleted the tweet.”

Why is homosexual still seen as something that can be cured?

Homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness in 1973, however, it is still possible to obtain treatment via the NHS, by referral,  to “cure” you of your homosexuality. As it stands the psychotherapy industry in the UK is not regulated by the state – and therefore some therapists still offer “gay cures”.

In October 2019 it was revealed that 10 per cent of the UK’s population could be cured.

This is coupled with the horrifying revelation that around 20 per cent of people (one in five) said that being LGBT+ was immoral or went against their beliefs.

Does conversion therapy actually work?

There are a number of therapists and organisations in the UK and in the USA that make the claim that conversion therapy can help LGB people to become heterosexual. However, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, there is no evidence that such change is possible.