Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Suffolk MP warns of “unintended consequences” of gay-to-straight conversion therapy ban

PUBLISHED: 15:25 14 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:25 14 January 2014

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Archant

Banning gay-to-straight conversion therapy could have “unintended consequences” on people coming to terms with their sexuality, a health minister has said.

Dr Dan Poulter said he found the so-called gay cures “absolutely abhorrent” in principle, as Labour’s Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West, urged him to ban them.

But Dr Poulter said regulations or a ban on the therapy, which seeks to turn gay people straight, could stop counsellors from providing the “important service” of supporting people coming to terms with their sexual orientation.

The minister told Mr Davies: “On the point specifically... of the principle of what you say about a gay-to-straight aversion therapy, I also find that absolutely - in principle - abhorrent.

“But the issue is... if we were potentially to ban or put regulations in about that it may have unintended consequences.

“We may affect counsellors and stop counsellors from practising through supporting people coming to terms with their sexuality and that important service is delivered and one that I hope on both sides of this House we can support.”

Mr Davies had asked Dr Poulter during health questions: “You know that under this Government the number of people referred to psychotherapists and counsellors has tripled to a million at a cost of £400 million and some of these are faced with so-called gay-to-straight conversion therapy.

“When will you support my Bill to regulate psychotherapists and ban so-called gay cures, which cause enormous trauma amongst its victims and being promoted this Thursday at a big conference in Westminster?”

Mr Davies presented his Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill as a private member’s bill last October. It is due to have a second reading next month.

On the issue of therapist spending, Dr Poulter replied to Mr Davies: “The reason, I’m sure you’re aware, there has been increased referrals to therapists is because this Government is investing in early intervention and ensuring that we make sure that we invest in the Iapt (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) programme so we can get to people with mental health problems much earlier and give them better support before they reach the point of crisis.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

The former Bears Bowling will be re-opening as Bears Pool & Snooker this Saturday after renovations have been completed this week.

The Duke of Cambridge leaves his role as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance today. Here, he tells of his pride at doing the job, and pays tribute to his colleagues, and to the people of East Anglia.

A retired Suffolk teacher has appeared in court charged with making 3,000 indecent images of children, possession of nearly 700 prohibited images of a child and breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

Ipswich’s free shuttle bus between council offices in Russell Road and the town centre has been saved after the borough agreed to pick up the bill for it.

A man and woman who unleashed a torrent of racist abuse at a Polish pub manager leaving her feeling unwelcome in a country she called home for 15 years must pay her compensation.

Grandparents are used more than nurseries and pre-schools when it comes to childcare, it has been revealed.

Plans for 152 “ill-thought out” homes on the outskirts of Needham Market have today been refused.

A 50-year-old man from Cambridgeshire who was arrested after a fatal crash on the A140 on Tuesday will appear in court tomorrow to face dangerous driving charges.

A jealous Suffolk man who fired a BB gun at a car after finding text messages from the vehicle’s owner on his partner’s phone has been jailed for ten months.

A former geography teacher from Essex says that schoolchildren should be taught more about what to do if a natural disaster occurs after getting caught up in the earthquake which hit Kos last week.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24