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Guildford Liberal Democrats

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PRESS RELEASE: Pride in Surrey - Surrey Liberal Democrats call for an immediate and complete Ban on Conversion Therapy.

September 29, 2021 4:27 PM

Pride in Surrey: Surrey Liberal Democrats call for an immediate and complete Ban on Conversion Therapy. ZF adding name to Ban Conversion Therapy banner

Liberal Democrats from across Surrey came together on Saturday last week to join in Pride in Surrey celebrations in Godalming. Led by local Parliamentary Spokespeople Zöe Franklin (Guildford and Cranleigh), Alasdair Pinkerton (Surrey Heath) and Paul Follows (South West Surrey), councillors and activists took part in the parade and hosted a stall at the event.

It was a real pleasure to be part of this amazing event and see people of all ages coming together and being able to express themselves.

Pride has its roots in protest, it began as a way to fight back against the oppression faced by the LGBTQ+ community, some of which they still face today. We are very fortunate to be able to publicly celebrate Pride, something that many members of the LGBTQ+ community around the world are unable to do. Whilst we have come a long way, the fight for equality and justice is far from over. That is why our presence focussed around our petition to ban conversion therapy, a practice that is shockingly still legal in the UK.

Surrey Liberal Democrats, along with the 600 people who signed our national 'Ban Conversion Therapy' petition at the weekend, are calling on the Government to impliment an immediate and complete ban on Conversion Therapy. Something that the last three Conservative Prime Ministers have promised to do but are yet to deliver. That is simply not good enough.

The party also wants to see a criminal ban on referrals, transportation of minors overseas, and advertising and promotion of any conversion practices as well as a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of conversion therapy.

This action comes in the same year as the Government have met with the Evangelical Alliance and LGB Alliance, who advocate religious exemptions for gay conversion therapy, whilst failing to honour their promise to ban the practice.

Local Parliamentary Spokesperson Zöe Franklin said:

"Conversion Therapy is a form of torture and has no place in society under any circumstances. Many people assume the practice is already illegal, but that is sadly not the case and we cannot let that continue. The fact that it is legal to subject members of the LGBTQ+ community to this dangerous and abusive practice is simply not acceptable. The Liberal Democrats are demanding action, this cannot be allowed to continue any longer."

"Politically I'm also proud of the long history the Liberal Democrats have of standing with the LGBT+ community. From our work to end Section 28 which finally succeeded in 2000, to our work in the Coalition of 2010 to 2015 when we ensured that the equal marriage act passed, to our current work on trans rights, we will keep fighting for a safer, more equal society."

Cllr Paul Follows, leader of Waverley Council and PPC for South West Surrey added:

"It was fantastic to be able to host this event in Godalming. Welcoming the LGBTQ+ community and seeing so many people at this hugely important event was both moving and exciting for us. It has given us a real opportunity to engage with and show our support for an often overlooked community in Surrey. I am looking forward to building on the work we have already done to ensure we, as elected Councillors and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates truly represent all the residents of Surrey"

All signatures collected will be added to the national petition on the same issue and will help Liberal Democrat MPs to demonstrate how much public support there is for banning the damaging practice of conversion therapy.

Sign our petition now by follwoing this link:

Notes to the Editors

At the Liberal Democrats 2021 conference a motion was passed which called for:

Details of the Liberal Democrats LGBTQ+ History: