300 religious leaders from 35 countries call for ban on conversion therapy

More than 300 religious leaders from 35 countries call for a ban on “conversion therapies,” which attempt to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The call for an end to the practice, often done in the name of a religious faith, was issued in a statement by the British Ozanne Foundation before a London conference.

Among the signatories were representatives of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Sikh faiths, including Nobel Peace Prize winner and retired archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“We call for all attempts to change, suppress or erase a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression — commonly known as ‘conversion therapy’ — to end, and for these harmful practices to be banned,” they say.

The practice is sometimes referred to as “reparative therapy” but experts widely regard it as pseudo-scientific, ineffective and dangerous.

It has drawn particular attention in the United States, where it has affected hundreds of thousands of individuals.