A Tory MP has called for a ban on so-called “gay cure therapies” that purport to be able to change someone’s sexual orientation.
Pointing out that these therapies are still available on the NHS, Conservative Mike Free said the psychotherapy industry was thus far not regulated by statue and that the Government needed to “go further” to ensure that “quack” therapies were rooted out, the Independent reported.
“It remains possible for people within the UK to be referred by an NHS professional to a psychotherapist for a so-called ‘gay cure,” he said during a debate on the subject in Parliament’s Westminster Hall, adding “being gay is not a disaster, being gay is not an illness. To suggest otherwise is not only demeaning, it is medically wrong.”
Freer, who is himself gay, said bogus supposed “therapies” offered by some practitioners include exorcism, riding a bike, prayer, electric shock and nausea pain-aversion treatments. He claimed one Austrian doctor had offered experimental testicular transplants.
Research published by LGBT charity Stonewall in July found that one in ten health and social care workers had witnessed a colleague declare a belief in a “gay cure.”