Gender Recognition

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 1:47 pm ar 6 Rhagfyr 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), Minister for Women and Equalities, Secretary of State for Business and Trade, President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities 1:47, 6 Rhagfyr 2023

I am very happy to confirm that, and I thank my right hon. Friend for the measured tone in which he asked his question—it is a model for Opposition Members. We have done so much work under this specific Government and even under my watch, including on our HIV action plan and on trans healthcare. We have established five new community-based clinics for adults in this country. There is a lot that we are doing, so it is wrong to characterise us as not caring about LGBT people, and it also sends the wrong signal to our international partners. If they feel that we are not doing well, it is not because of what we are doing, but because of what Members are saying.

On conversion practices, let me give a little more clarity about what we are doing with a longer answer than normal. This is a matter of deep interest across this House, so I would like to set out my thinking fully. A commitment was given to publish a draft conversion practices Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny. I am determined to meet that promise, as is the Minister for Equalities. Attempts at so-called conversion therapy are abhorrent and are largely already illegal, so a Bill would identify those practices as a particular threat to gay people and confirm the illegality of harmful processes intended to change someone’s sexuality.

In the time since that Bill was first promised, the issue has developed. Now, the threat to many young gay people is not conversion relating to their sexuality, but conversion relating to gender identity. Girls such Keira Bell, who was rushed on to puberty blockers by the NHS and had a double mastectomy, now regret the irreversible damage done to them. I believe that this is a new form of conversion therapy. Respected clinicians, such as those who left Tavistock, have made clear that they are fearful of giving honest clinical advice to a child because if they do not automatically affirm and medicalise a child’s new gender, they will be labelled transphobic. Any Bill needs to address many of those issues, and that is why we are going to publish a draft Bill.