Bristol city centre protest against trans conversion therapy blocks traffic – live updates

A protest in Bristol city centre against ‘conversion therapy’ for trans people has held up traffic in the city centre today.

Photos show demonstrators blocking the roads around the Bearpit and buses have been disrupted by the marchers. The protest is reportedly aimed at the government’s ‘exclusion’ of trans people from new legislation which aims to ban conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy is a controversial method by which a ‘therapist’ tries to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The government has announced plans to ban practices to change people’s sexual orientation, but the proposals do not cover attempts to change someone’s gender identity.

Read more: Legislation to ban Gay Conversion Therapy outlined in Queen’s Speech

The government says that transgender conversion therapy is too complicated to be included for now and separate work will be carried out into the issue. However, in a call for people to join the Bristol protest on the Facebook page of the group Trans Pride South West, the government’s decision has been criticised.

And a description of the demonstration said: “It’s shameful that the UK intends to deliberately exclude trans people from a ban in contrast to the approach taken by many countries, despite trans people being at a greater risk of experiencing the harmful & degrading practices.

“The government’s own figures show that trans people are nearly twice as likely to be at risk of experiencing the harmful & degrading practices of conversion therapy. A ban needs to ensure all forms of conversion therapy are banned.”

And First Bus issued an update on Twitter at 1.04pm warning people of disruption, which said: “Due to a protest march in the City Centre, we are seeing delays across Bristol City services at this time. So sorry for any issues this may cause on your journey.”

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