People are pointing out Boris Johnson's 'hypocrisy' on LGBTQ+ issues

Sanjana Varghese
Tuesday 21 July 2020 05:30
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Boris Johnson said earlier this week that his government would be bringing forward plans to ban conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy is a controversial field in therapy, where practitioners try to change people's sexualities, through a range of methods.

It's widely considered to be immoral and unjustified, and while the practice is frowned upon, it's still technically legal in the UK. A national survey showed that around 2 per cent of LGBTQ+ people living in the UK said that they had undergone conversion therapy.

Johnson said that the practice was "abhorrent", and that there would be a government review of such practices.

He said:

What we're going to do is a study right now on where is this actually happening, how prevalent is it, and we will then bring forward plans to ban it.

Yet, despite Johnson's seemingly progressive stance on conversion therapy, just last week he praised the election of a far right politician in Poland.

Poland's new President, Andrzej Duda, is a member of the right-wing, nationalist Law and Justice Party in Poland, and won the election with 51.03 per cent of the popular vote.

Johnson tweeted to congratulate him, as did President Donald Trump.

Duda has been accused of homophobia in the past, and his party's platform is homophobic – Duda has previously referred to the LGBTQ+ rights movement as "a foreign ideology" and suggested it was "more destructive" than communism.

"They did not fight so that we would now accept that another ideology, even more destructive to man, would come along, an ideology which under the clichés of respect and tolerance hides deep intolerance," he said.

Duda has also signed proposals to make it more difficult for LGBTQ+ couples to adopt, and to ban teaching about LGBTQ+ issues in schools, under a "Family Charter".

Onlookers have noted that Poland has become more dangerous for LGBTQ+ people in the past five years after Duda won his first election as president, and has become the most dangerous place for LGBTQ+ people to visit in the EU.

People are pointing out that this is somewhat hypocritical.

While Boris Johnson may be hoping he gets some brownie points for simply making small steps towards the right thing – which would be banning conversion therapy outright – he cannot pretend to be a true ally to the LGBTQ+ community while still aligning himself with world leaders who are just the opposite.

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