01 July 2021
The Methodist Conference has decided that no conversion therapy can take place in its name and has called on the UK government to ban the practice without delay.
The Conference also moved to support the ‘Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK’ definition of conversion therapy which offers the most significant and widely supported definition, with up to 20 health, counselling and psychotherapy organisations having signed up to it, including the Association of Christian Counsellors.
The text of the agreed reply to the Memorial to the Conference, which was brought by the Birmingham Synod, is as follows:
The Conference agrees:
(1) to support and adopt the ‘Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK’ definition of conversion therapy as quoted above,
(2) to call on all Methodists to refuse to offer or participate in offering conversion therapy in any form.
(3) that no conversion therapy can take place in the name of the Methodist Church.
The Conference directs the Methodist Council to consider, draft and publish a policy on ‘Conversion Therapy’ in light of points (1) to (3) of this response. The Conference calls on the UK Government to ban ‘Conversion Therapy’ without further delay and therefore also directs the Methodist Council to consider further the most appropriate way in which to engage with HM Government on this issue.
Notes for editors:
The Memorandum defines conversion therapy as follows: ‘Conversion therapy’ is an umbrella term for a therapeutic approach, or any model or individual viewpoint that demonstrates an assumption that any sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to any other, and which attempts to bring about a change of sexual orientation or gender identity, or seeks to suppress an individual’s expression of sexual orientation or gender identity on that basis. It goes on to say the practice of conversion therapy, whether in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity, is unethical and potentially harmful.
The relevant proceedings are here.
The Memorial (M20) can be found here (pg 913).