Gay conversion therapies which try to “cure” people’s sexuality will be banned as part of the government’s LGBT action plan.
The plan is an attempt to tackle the inequalities faced by members of the LGBT community.
It comes after a large government survey assessed some of the difficulties facing LGBT people living in the UK.
Over 108,000 people responded, making it the biggest study of its kind in the world.
It highlighted how 2% of those who replied had undergone conversion therapy, with a further 5% having been offered it.
The therapy is a treatment or psychotherapy which aims to “reduce or stop same-sex attraction or to suppress a person’s gender identity based on an assumption that being lesbian, gay, bi or trans is a mental illness that can be ‘cured’,” according to equalities charity Stonewall.
The survey also found 68% of same-sex couples said they didn’t hold hands in public for fear of facing abuse.
Meanwhile, 51% who had wanted mental healthcare services said they had to wait too long.
Prime Minister Theresa May described the responses as “overwhelming” and “shone a light on the many areas we can improve the lives of LGBT people”.
“No one should ever have to hide who they are or who they love,” she said.
Penny Mordaunt, women and equalities minister, whose department was behind the action plan, said: “This government has done much to promote a diverse, tolerant society and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, but it is clear we have more to do.
“Our action plan is a step towards everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics being able to live safe, happy and healthy lives where they can be themselves without fear of discrimination.
“It will mark a culture change to allow LGBT people to feel respected at every level of society.”
The action plan sets out 75 steps to help improve the lives of LGBT people.