LONDON, April 7 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Oscar-winning screenwriter and filmmaker Dustin Lance Black on Wednesday accused Britain of “neglecting the lives of queer people” by failing to fulfill a three-year promise to ban LGBT + conversion therapy.
The United Nations has called for the practice, which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, to be banned globally.
Brazil, Ecuador, Malta and Germany have adopted forms of national bans, while parts of Australia and Canada are considering restrictions and at least 20 US states ban them for minors.
Black – who has built a remarkable US sailing career from keeping track of LGBT + rights – said his adoptive homeland in Britain knew the risks of treatment but had not acted on it.
“This government ignores the lives of freaks,” the US screenwriter told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a video call from her home in south London, which was shared with her husband British Olympic diver Tom Daley and their two-year-old son, Robbie Ray.
“There is no urgency from this government to protect LGBTQ people,” said the 46-year-old Oscar winner. “We keep hearing, ‘Soon, soon, soon’. Well, I’m sorry to tell this government that the ‘soon’ came and went years ago now. “
Former Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to ban conversion therapy by 2018.
But Black – who won the original screenplay Oscar for the 2008 film “Milk” about LGBT + activist Harvey Milk – noted that more than 1,000 days have passed.
“I feel fairly confident that if there is a therapy in the UK that targets heterosexual people to change something fundamental about them, and that the main outcomes of this therapy are depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide, then that therapy will be banned in 24 hours. -hours, “he said.
A 2019 survey by the suicide prevention group The Trevor Project found 42% of young LGBT Americans on conversion therapy reported a suicide attempt in the past year.
Nearly 700,000 Americans have undergone conversion therapy, half of whom are under 18, according to the UCLA Williams Institute.
A spokesman said the British government wanted to “stop conversion therapy” and would come up with a proposal soon.
Black, who is behind the hit ABC series “When We Rise” which charts LGBT + rights, says procrastination has had a “measurable” impact on British lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “The government itself has reviewed this matter and still hasn’t done anything,” he said. “They should care very little about LGBTQ people, our self-esteem, our self-confidence.”
In the 2018 National LGBT Survey, the UK government said nearly 2% of respondents had undergone conversion therapy and another 5% had been offered it. (Reported by Hugo Greenhalgh; Edited by Lyndsay Griffiths. Please pay tribute to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Thomson Reuters charity, covering the lives of people around the world who struggle to live free or fair. news.trust.org)