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Government’s landmark LGBT+ conference cancelled

The move comes after Iain Anderson, the UK’s LGBT+ business champion, resigned earlier on Tuesday.

05 April 2022

The Government’s landmark international LGBT+ conference, due to take place in June, has been cancelled, the PA news agency understands.

The move comes after Iain Anderson, the UK’s LGBT+ business champion, resigned earlier on Tuesday over the Government’s “profoundly shocking” position on banning conversion therapy for transgender people.

He is the latest in a series of high-profile individuals and groups to hit out at the Government, with at least 100 organisations pulling out of the Safe To Be Me conference, planned to take place in London from June 29.

More than 80 LGBT+ groups and more than 20 HIV groups said they will not take part in the global, UK-hosted conference unless Boris Johnson would revert to his promise for a trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy.

Last week it was initially announced that ministers were scrapping plans to ban the practice, sparking a furious backlash.

A rainbow corner flag at the side of the pitch (John Walton/PA)
A rainbow corner flag at the side of the pitch (John Walton/PA)

A Government spokesman confirmed that they were looking instead at ways of preventing it through existing law and “other non-legislative measures”.

However, within hours the PM was said to have “changed his mind” and a senior Government source was quoted as saying legislation would be introduced.

The Government now then said it is committed to a legislative ban, but that separate work is required to “consider the issue of transgender conversion therapy further”.

Mr Anderson added that it was “profoundly shocking” that the Government had backtracked on protection for transgender people during the same week that the first trans MP felt able to share his journey.

A Government spokeswoman said: “We thank Iain for his contributions as LGBT business champion.

“The Government has a proud record on LGBT rights and we remain committed to building upon that work with sensitivity and care.”

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